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Spring 2017 Select Seven

Welcome to a brand new periodic feature on Roots Rock Review where we will glance at select albums that were recently released.

Moved to Duarte by Les Bohem

Moved to Duarte by Les Bohem

Moved To Duarte is the debut album Les Bohem, an artist with a rich history of songwriting in the Los Angeles music scene and beyond.

Les Bohem online

Les Bohem on Facebook v on Twitter  Les Bohem on Instagram
Les Bohem website
Buy Moved to Duarte

Furnace by Dead Man Winter

Furnace by Dead Man Winter

Minnesota based musician Dave Simonett composes and performs with his latest rock project, Dead Man Winter on the album Furnace.

Dead Man Winter online

Dead Man Winter on Facebook Dead Man Winter on Twitter  Dead Man Winter on Instagram
Dead Man Winter website
Buy Furnace

The Kingdom Belongs To a Child by Cashavelly Morrison

The Kingdom Belongs to a Child by Cashavelly Morrison

Americana-Alt Country artist Cashavelly Morrison made an impressive and award-winning debut album in 2015 with The Kingdom Belongs to a Child.

Cashavelly Morrison online

Cashavelly Morrison on Reverbnation Cashavelly Morrison on Facebook Cashavelly Morrison on Twitter  Cashavelly Morrison on Instagram
Cashavelly Morrison website
Buy The Kingdom Belongs To a Child

Rainmakers by AP Mauro

Rainmakers EP by AP Mauro

Rainmaker features fantastic layered, chiming guitars on top of eclectic songs of emotion by New Jersey based artist AP Mauro.

AP Mauro online

Cashavelly Morrison on Facebook Cashavelly Morrison on Twitter
AP Mauro website
Buy Rainmakers

All For Loving You by Alexis P Suter

All For Loving You by Alexis P Suter Band

The legendary BB King once stated that it was “a rare thing to share the stage with great talent” like Alexis P Suter. All For Loving You is the latest release by the Alexis P Suter Band.

Alexis P Suter online

Alexis P Suter on Reverbnation Alexis P Suter on Facebook Alexis P Suter on Twitter
Alexis P Suter Band website
Buy All For Loving You

Two For the Blues by Generations

Two for the Blues by Generations

Generations is a progressive urban folk group led by the father and son duo of Mike & Aleksi Glick. Their latest release is the impressive album Two for the Blues.

Generations online

Alexis P Suter on Reverbnation Alexis P Suter on Facebook

Maniac World by The Good For Nothin Band

Maniac World by The Good for Nothin’ Band

The Good for Nothin’ Band performs New Orleans jazz like a garage band with just a slight bit of edge. The album Maniac World nicely showcases this unique sound.

The Good for Nothin’ Band online

The Good for Nothin' Band on Facebook
Buy Maniac World


Roots Rock Review’s look at seven new quality album and EP releases, published on May 21, 2017.



JD and the Straight Shot

JD and the Straight Shot

JD & the Straight Shot perform an impressive array of authentic Americana tunes both on stage and on their latest LP, Ballyhoo!. Led by vocalist/guitarist Jim Dolan, this acoustic group delves deeply into the traditional genres of country, blues and bluegrass with the slightest dash of modern elements to forge an entertaining and enriching musical experience. The group is touring with Joe Walsh through the summer of 2016 and we caught their show in Lancaster on Sunday, July 31st.

The son of the founder of Cablevision, Dolan started off as a musician several decades ago but eventually joined the family business as chief executive officer of sports properties and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden Company. He supervises the day-to-day operations of several professional New York sports franchises (the Knicks of the NBA, the Rangers of the NHL and the Liberty of the WNBA) as well as a couple of regional sports networks and the fast rising AMC network.


Dolan founded the group in the early 2000s with their debut album, Nothing to Hide released in 2005. This was followed by the albums Right On Time in 2008 and Can’t Make Tears in 2011, the latter’s title track providing the theme song for the AMC television show Hell on Wheels. In 2014, JD & the Straight Shot released their fourth LP, Where I’ve Been, which was produced by Joe Walsh and brought the group further national attention as they toured alongside top-notch groups like The Eagles, The Allman Brothers Band and ZZ Top. That album also included the song “Hard to Find” which was featured in the film St. Vincent starring Bill Murray.

JD and the Straight Shot

Most of the group’s live show on July 31st consisted of tracks from their fifth album, Ballyhoo!, which was released in January 2016. Produced by Chuck Ainlay, the original material on this album was written by Dolan along with guitarist/vocalist Marc Copely, bassist Byron House and violinist Erin Slaver. Also performing on the album is JD’s son, Aiden Dolan and the live show features percussionist Shawn Pelton, who has recorded with artists such as Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Hall and Oates and Johnny Cash and who has been the longtime drummer in the house band for Saturday Night Live.

Ballyhoo! by JD and the Straight ShotThe live show started off with the same song which kicks off Ballyhoo!, “Empty”. This slide-acoustic spiritual features multiple fine musical elements and some nice harmonized vocals. “Better Find a Church” starts with great double bass riff and remains laid back and rootsy throughout. Dolan performs dual lead vocals with Slaver and Copely provides a fantastic acoustic lead guitar later on. “Perdition” is another Americana/Gospel track with an excellent fiddle lead while the upbeat bluegrass of “Glide” reflects on the pure feeling of of childhood joy. Dolan’s finest vocal performance may be on the Spirit cover song “Nature’s Way”, which contains a lead fiddle riff, while those same vocals may be a bit rough on the sad acoustic ballad “Don’t Waste My Time”. The title track “Ballyhoo” is a tongue-n-cheek anthem against ridicule and was a crowd favorite live with its accelerating jam session. Winding down the album, “Here He Comes” is a tribute to Johnny Cash while the closer “I’ll See You Again” wraps up the album on a hopeful note.

JD & the Straight Shot will continue to tour with Joe Walsh in support of Ballyhoo! with dates booked through September.


JD & the Straight Shot online

JD & the Straight Shot on Twitter  JD & the Straight Shot on Reverbnation  JD & the Straight Shot on Facebook
JD & the Straight Shot website
Buy Ballyhoo!


Gospel Blues at Briggs Farm

Article contributors:
Margaret Neiswender and Kevin Lizbinski

Sunday Gospel Blues

For the first time in its 19 year history, the Briggs Farm Blues Festival was extended to include Sunday entertainment in its annual mid-July festival. On Sunday, July 10th, a Gospel-themed show was performed by three artists from mid morning to mid afternoon. For this inaugural Sunday, Briggs offered an exceptional lineup of three soulful and passionate artists (along with some special guests), who perfectly embody the essence of Gospel Blues.

Vanessa CollierStarting things off was multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Vanessa Collier from nearby Williamsport, PA. Vanessa started very young playing the saxophone and began recording music by age 12. She was inspired by artists such as Lori Jordan and Bonnie Raitt but soon developed her own style of songwriting and performing. In 2014, she released her debut album, Heart Soul & Saxophone, and her dynamic performance on Sunday was a potent mix of both original songs and original interpretations of blues and soul classics.

Vanessa Collier Online

Vanessa Collier on Twitter  Vanessa Collier on Facebook
Vanessa Collier website
Buy Heart Soul & Saxophone

Victor WainwrightMaking their second appearance at this year’s festival, following his main stage performance on Saturday night, Victor Wainwright & the Wild Roots blended their entertaining mixture of rock, boogie-woogie, and honky tonk, with the Gospel blues theme of the day. The Savannah, GA native was a master of the piano and keyboards on stage, complementing his subtle but soulful vocals, and was backed by a large ensemble of superb musicians. Sunday’s performance also included special guest appearances by pianist Michael Czubaj and vocalist Barbara Blue, “The Reigning Queen of Beale St”.

Victor Wainwright online

Victor Wainwright on Twitter  Victor Wainwright on Reverbnation  Victor Wainwright on Facebook
Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots website
Buy Boom Town

Alexis P SuterHeadlining Sunday’s show and closing out the weekend of incredible music was Alexis P. Suter & the Ministers of Sound. This very special set of Gospel Blues was particularly noteworthy because the live performance was being recorded for an upcoming LP release which will be published on the new Briggs Farm Records label. Suter is based in Brooklyn, NY but has strong Pennsylvania ties through her musical performances and hopes to eventually move to the Keystone state. She has performed at this festival many times in the past and has developed close ties with the Briggs family. This particular Gospel blues performance was very special for Suter because she is also a minister and explains; “ministering can be anything you love to do – each one of us has a ministry- We happen to minister music to everyone to share love and peace cause that’s what its all about…”

Alexis P Suter online

Alexis P Suter on Twitter  Alexis P Suter on Reverbnation  Alexis P Suter on Facebook
Alexis P. Suter website
Buy All for Loving You

Check out the below video with some highlights from the 2016 Sunday Gospel Blues show at Briggs Farm.

Briggs Farm online

Briggs Farm Blues Festival on Twitter  Briggs Farm Blues Festival on Facebook
Briggs Farm Festival website

Article contributors:
Margaret Neiswender and Kevin Lizbinski