EP Review: BlackBird Sons- Rock and Roll Ain't Dead

Fans at a concert

Words were written by Anselm Anderson

Blackbird sons is a four-piece from Finland, that plays energetic rock and roll with a hint of classic rock. The band is influenced by AC/DC, The Who, and ZZ Top, which can be characterized by the fist-pumping, riff-driven burst of raw sound that exudes from their music.

 " Rock and Roll Ain't Dead" is the first single from the band's upcoming EP, a follow-up to 2017's self-published debut Back In the Game

The track kicks off with a burst of pure adrenaline as the high-tempo riff instantly gets your head swinging. lead singer Niko Hamalainen enters the fray with a lung-bursting roar that tells you this is a band that likes to enjoy themselves when playing.

The band plays with a closeness that excels in how they play off each other. Bassist Lauri Aaltonen plays in impeccable time like a metronome that dictates the tempo, which culminates in some breakdowns that build towards the hook-laden cries of  "Rock N Roll Ain't Dead".  The passages of music are simple, enabling the dynamic to remain loud. The drumming abilities of Tatu Lankinen rolls along like a freight train; each strike resonates throughout, whilst the guitar lines of Riku Kananoja combine with lead vocals and bass to produce a joyous combination of heart-pumping rock that results in a mid-tempo trade-off that proves rock and roll is still very much alive with this talented quartet from Finland.

The band's upcoming 5 track  EP Rock and Roll ain't Dead  is due out in April 2019

Blackbird Sons are ;

Niko Hamalainen-  Lead Vocals/Guitars

Riku Kananoja- Backing Vocals/ Guitars

Lauri Aaltonen- Bass & Backing Vocals

Tatu Lankinen- Drums

You can see the video to " Rock and Roll ain't Dead" below


You can follow the band via their social media accounts


JT Larsen- Southern Indiana Nights

Words were written by Anselm Anderson

JT Larsen is an Americana singer/songwriter from Indianapolis. Larsen grew up in a house of musicians, which he began to focus on after leaving college. He soon concentrated on his own songwriting skills to formulate a catalogue of songs to perform around his local area.

Larsen plays Americana with a hint of Rock and Roll, which has lead to comparisons to Country stars Jason Isbell   and  Blitzen Trapper He now showcases his talents for the first time with debut single Southern Indiana Nights, a track he explains is about ;

"A girl who I was dating at the time called and said she wanted to end things. I remember being obviously upset at the time so I grabbed my keys
and went out for a drive to clear my head. At some point during the drive I started to think about some of the things I still do have,
like some of my good friends from my childhood. When I got back home, I went back to my
little 8-track recorder and changer the lyrics to “I wish I could go back to Southern Indiana
nights.” From there it was simple to find subject matter worth writing about." - Jt Larsen

This opening introduction doesn't fail to impress with its wholehearted appeal of alt-country with nuances that are effective and constructive. Larsen 's guitar play is simple and rigid with a firm strumming pattern that instantly hooks the listener with its upbeat rhythm you can't help but hum.

Larsen's voice is warm and inviting, which benefits the lyrical content about reminiscing about home. The song gradually builds towards the chorus with subtle implementations like female vocals and steel lap guitar that familiarises the listener to what home may be like. The singer creates an atmosphere through these little touches.  The mid-tempo retains this edge before bursting into a nice Solo in the mid-eighth Neil Young would be proud of. Overall, I feel the structure of the track is well written for a targeted audience. And this writer is looking forward to hearing more from this talented musician.

J.T Larsen Southern Indiana Nights is now available via Spotify and Soundcloud

You can follow the artist via the link below;


You can now listen to the track below



The Skys- Communication

Words Were Written by Anselm Anderson

The Skys are a highly revered rock outfit from Lithuania, who have toured extensively around the world to critical acclaim. The band has several albums to date, including Automatic Minds, the band's latest studio release; which was produced by Grammy award-winning Dom Morley ( Amy Winehouse).
Communication is one of the singles from the album that features The Voice USA contestant India Carney on vocals.

The track combusts between a multitude of harmonic lines and heavy beats that are reminiscent of the prog music Pink Floyd and Genesis were so fond of producing.  The opening sequence begins with an apparent transmission before breaking into the eerie vocals that repeats " We all see through cancer". The hypnotic bass lines then join in tandem to create a dreamlike atmosphere that builds through each bar until the counterpoint to male vocals enters with the first verse. The juxtaposition of vocals helps to convey the different textures within the song that feel like the listener is travelling through time.

 The vocals then change tact and speed up before joining in harmony for the chorus. The manipulation of sound helps to retain the tempo and tone of this track before it recycles its original build to a frenetic finish with a whirring guitar and mellotron solo that is capped off by the high pitch talents of our guest vocalist. This Track does remind me of the aforementioned Pink Floyd with its intelligent songwriting and well-crafted compositions that make this a treat worth listening to.

You can follow the band via social media via these links;




Song Review: Andrea Templon- Dragonflies on Wings

Words were written by Anselm Anderson 

Andrea Templon is a versatile talent hailing from North Carolina. The singer has a rare ability to encompass a variety of genres into her music, including jazz, folk, blues, and Americana. This is nowhere better explored in her latest release " Dragonflies With Wings", The singer's second album that features covers and originals with Dave Fox.  The ten song album is rich with warmth and poignancy that delivers with charm and attentiveness that is suitable for those who enjoy easy listening music. I will be giving a run through of some of the album's highlights;

The album begins with A Fine Thing, a beautifully written and enchanting track that opens with the bright sound of the piano that gives the song an intimate feel as if Templon is singing directly to the listener in a lounge somewhere. This is reflective in her introspective lyrics that evoke  a love ballad that comes to life with Templon's nourishing tone that maintains a steady tempo along with the piano accompaniment

Next up is a cover of The Band track Atlantic City. This is another example of templon's versatility as a singer with a good back up band. This track begins with the staple diet of any good folk track, a melodic fingerpicking pattern that sets the mood for another strong vocal performance that really captures the feeling of the lyrics, as Templon sings   The vocals begin to move with the music towards a climatic chorus with a change in tone to reflect a more positive sense, which feels more so with the Mandolin playing in the background at the bridge."

Next is the standout track for me personally, Templon's take on the Bonnie Raitt track " ( Going) Wild For You Baby. A song steeped in soul and emotion. Templon makes this cover her own with sultry vocals that encapture every painstaking word of the original. A slow tempo and guitar accompaniment help supplement this with a strong rhythm section. The slick guitar play adds a different dimension to Raitt's version, which is more fragile.

The Only News is another delicate blues number that is sung in a duet with a male vocalist. The opening tinkers of keyboard shuffle along to swinging jazz feel as Templon enters with a lowly purl. The slow tempo maintains this feeling steady drumming falling on the strong beats to create an intimate mood before the dual vocals on chorus reflect lovers entwined under a moonlit beach.  I feel this reflects the story of the lyrics of two people happy with each other in a world of harm. The lovely guitar lick and the impressive combination of piano and bass produce a magical song

Where is the Love wraps things up with another duet between two talented singers. This slow tempo, number exudes with soul and harmony. The  Roberta Flack cover opens with cries of " Where is the Love" causes the heart to ripple with the combination of templon's mellifluous melodies against rich male vocals creates another sense of a couple alone.  The vocals counterpoint one another in a sense of unison, as the rhythm section, supplies a complimentary side to the music.
Dragonflies On Wings is now available through all good Music Platforms like Spotify, Google Play, and Deezer.

You can follow Andrea Templon via her social media pages below;