ayholev1tmbKate Russell – Give Your Love to Me

According to Australian Kate Russell herself, this is barbecue music. She’s not real popular. She’s not a soft singer either. She does sing country and it is pretty powerful, powerful enough to make your speakers pop. There are three slow songs on this album, but they still feel like, at any moment, Axl Rose is going to enter stage right and knock out the audience with Russell in a duet that will live on forever, hidden as a secret track on some anti-social kid’s internet radio blog.

It is shockingly hard to find a lot of decent information on Russell, probably due to that sciency Kate Russell from UK using her terribly generic name. But she does have a website. How about the music?

As far as I can tell she wrote all of the lyrics and probably the melodies, but it looks like some old dude at the studio did all of the instrumentation. It “looks” like it is just the one dude, but there was probably more than one.

Instrumentation is great. Clean and sharp twangy guitars, usually in flaky pie crust layers, envelope most of the tracks with a dotting of overdriven hard country rock guitar solos. Consistent back beat drumming, and I mean consistent snare every upbeat, on every track except two of the slow ones. Bass seems country enough, following the hooks and kick.

Kate Russell writes some good lyrics and tunes and one can be excited to hear her future albums as well as enjoy listening to her recent album, Give Your Love To Me.

Preview to the entire album on her website.


Willie Nelson – Summertime. Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin

One can never go wrong putting on Willie Nelson. His voice is good and smooth like a reliable old bottle of bourbon at a crumby dive bar with four regulars, two of which work the kitchen. What? You’ve never had that experience?

On this release are classics like, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Love is Here to Stay,” “They Can’t Take that Away from Me, and others. Duets with Cyndi Lauper and Sheryl Crow offer fuzzy surprises that make the little girl inside giddily bounce about while sipping espresso lattes.

Instrumentation is classy soft swing with standup bass and stuff.

Do you like Willie Nelson? Do you like Gershwin? Do you like music? Are you American? Give this album a shot. At least it is something to unwind to, or giddily bounce about to. You might have a favorite dance night album.


Empire State – Rocket Science

I wanted to do a full write up on this album. It unfortunately officially released in the UK in 2015, but it released in the US in 2016, rather, isn’t fully released, so I stuck it in a country trio. To be fair, it has a faint blues rock feel to it so it could fit here.

onelegsteveAll of Empire State’s earlier incarnations were slick dressed rock and roll acts.

Look at this picture of Steve!


Anyway, the music is extreme. Pulsating rhythms and hard as diamonds guitar riffs and hooks played by every instrument. Andy Morris is inspiring on vocals. Confidence drips off of every part of this album, especially the out of tune guitar in the intro to “Law of the Gun,” which I think is suffering from cheap digital delay.

Guitars are shredding over all Rocket Science in a good way. High energy rock and roll. Lyrics are anti-establishment. Some tracks sound like a ho-down.

If you need something probably no one you know has heard because it is obscure and good, get Empire State’s Rocket Science.