Miguel Estrada – Christmas In The Desert

Christmas in the Desert is a touching, sedate effort that allows Miguel ample opportunity to showcase his songwriting skills. The track is able to succeed because Estrada pulls double-duty, telling a story as well as adding a further level of depth to the sleigh bells and backing instrumentation. The smart usage of silence provides further gravitas to the composition.

I feel that Christmas in the Desert is able to be placed among the pantheon of holiday tracks as it draws upon a traditional (almost classical) pacing and sound.  The song is dedicated to anyone in service to our country that would be away from friends and family. Check out the single, let us know what you think, and purchase a copy for yourselves (a CDBaby link is below). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Miguel Estrada – Christmas In The Desert / 2018 Self-Released / 3:52 / CDBaby

Tripi – Whole Wide World Christmas

Tony Tripi has released a trio of Christmas songs that are able to address the topic of the holiday without falling tinto the same pitfall many performers do when attempting to make tracks that have staying power. On Family Christmas, Tripi is able to craft a seventies-infused rock track that includes sizzling guitar work, a female chorus, and absolutely emphatic drum work. With so many pieces shining, it’s no surprise that Tripi’s Family Christmas will stay fresh well after the end of the year.

Tripi’s modern take on Drummer Boy begins with an increase tempo and a powerful vocal swagger in the fashion of a Neil Diamond. The guitars add a bit of country and western sound to the mix. With this bit of urgency present in this cover, it is no surprise that Tripi is able to make it his own. A more introspective section separates the beginning and end of this track, allowing listeners a brief moment to slow down and take a breath. With this message present, Tripi is able to ratchet the speed back up and continue on to the final minute of the effort.

Whole Wide World Christmas is the final of this Christmas-theme trilogy. The track is our favorite of the 3, as it showcases Tripi’s ability to tell a tremendous yarn. In doing this, Tripi is able to refresh the style of performers like George Thorogood and Ray Stevens. The conscious decision to go forth and have the vocals occupy a more focal point is a masterstroke. While the guitar, bass, and drums are still contributing their same high quality of output, this is really an effort that fans will want to properly “get” through understanding its lyrical content. Check out additional information about Tony at his main domain or the latest news about his music at his Facebook.

Tripi’s Christmas Trio / Domain / Facebook 

Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia

Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia

URL: https://www.projectgrandslam.com/

Fans of pure jazz fusion as it was always meant to be consumed rejoice; 2019 officially commences with the release of the Robert Miller-led Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia, the group’s first live album and virgin offering to a brand new year. We begin with the rolling grooves of “You Started Something,” which as its title implies inspires something beyond infectious inside of anyone within earshot. Big rhythm is commanded by the gilded voice of Ziarra Washington, who navigates swirling sonic waves the size of skyscrapers with an airy fragility that is spellbinding from the very instant she starts to sing.

“You Started Something” gets us dancing, but “1972”throws down a funky hammer that is almost too limber for humans to keep up with. The space aged beat sways like a thousand pound pendulum above a glassy bass and drum blend that is just itching to spill into the guitar’s studious riffing. “I’m So Glad” brings Washington back into the fold and lights up the Serbian crowd with a sloshy tonality that takes a second to get fired up, but once it does is just about impossible to contain. These songs sound so fierce and urgent, and when you factor in the grit of this live mix it’s almost as if we’re sitting in the audience with the crowd.

The crown jewel of Greetings from Serbia is “Lament,” the band’s hit single, which shimmers with an effervescence that was more understated in the studio version of the song. It’s a nice break in the pace before we’re jolted by the heavy assault of “No No No”and massaged by the rigidity of “Free,” which has a certain jam band exuberance to it but falls short of becoming the repetitive progressive nonsense that eventually brought down the mid-90’s Deadhead revivalists. Say what you will about modern jazz, but if Greetings from Serbia doesn’t stimulate your soul then I don’t know what could.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/PGSjazz

“Gorilla” hums with an off-the-cuff, whispering bass that interlocks with the drums and ushers us into the straight up cathartic oasis that is “I Can’t Explain” (which for a lot of millennial listeners might be even more affectionately crafted than The Who’s version was). The five minutes and change that “The Queen’s Carnival” runs tests the endurance of Project Grand Slam with a larger than life island-flavored session that fires on all cylinders and has the power to leave listeners exhausted. On this front, one can only imagine how the players must have felt busting out these grooves one after another with zero breaks in between.

Greetings from Serbia comes to a conclusion with a cover of “Fire,” the legendary Jimi Hendrix song that became a staple of the Experience’s live shows some half century ago and could easily serve Project Grand Slam’s sets just as well. Washington doesn’t even try to replicate Jimi’s raspy, sexual growl; she’s more than content to impart to usher own melodic daggers, and in the end her vocal in the song is what makes the track ultimately feel complete. You don’t have to be the biggest jazz aficionado in the world to fall hard for what this album provokes in the hearts of anyone who has ever loved a good beat. Robert Miller’s most recent contribution to the international pop songbook is unquestionably worth acquiring if you’re keen on great music, and a wonderful way to warm up this chilly January.

The music of Project Grand Slam has been heard all over the world due to the promotional services offered by Danie Cortese Entertainment & Publicity. Learn more here – http://www.daniecorteseent.com/

Kim Muncie

NeuFutur has covered Project Grand Slam previously; Trippin’.

The Jackson Whites – Dressed To Get Naked

The Jackson Whites have released their new Christmas 2018 single, Dressed To Get Naked. The track builds upon the down and dirty rock of the 1970s, bringing in hints of blues, funk, and soul in the instrumental mix. We’re in love with the slightly gritty, incredibly charismatic vocals that sit on the top of the track. The instrumentation laid down here by The Jackson Whites is similarly intense. Fans will have to play Dressed To Get Naked multiple times to hear everything that has been inserted in the track. The distinct sections of this single further bolster the replay potential of the single; the stylistic shift that occurs at the 2:30 mark makes for a wholly different sound than originally greeted listeners. The lead-out for the track links together War, Frank Zappa, and even Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.

Where one may think that the sheer range of styles and approaches utilized by The Jackson Whites would lead to a muddied effort in this song, the skill of the band is such that everything joins together to make a cohesive song, a comprehensive take on popular music from the last fifty years. Through the five-plus minute run time of Dressed To Get Naked, the band is able to put their fingerprints on each notes. For more information about the act, check out their Facebook; additional information about Jersey Delta Records can be found at the link for the label. 

Dressed To Get Naked is a welcome addition to the corpus of holiday tunes. Unlike many Christmas tracks, The Jackson Whites’ latest can be enjoyed throughout the year. Let us know what you think about this cut below. 

Rating: 8.5/10

The Jackson Whites – Dressed To Get Naked / Jersey Delta Records / 5:28

Paden – Don’t Hold Back

Don’t Hold Back, the latest single from Paden, is a tremendously hopeful rock track that will immediately draw fans in with intense instrumentation that resounds loudly with each additional drum hit. The charisma of the vocals works well with these instruments, both telling a story and providing further depth to the harmonies of the single. Paden is able to craft radio-worthy rock in the same vein of Of Mice and Men and Mumford and Son while keeping the song’s instrumentation at 100. Keep focused in, as the two-part vocal harmony beginning at 2:15 is breathtakingly beautiful. This moment allows the act to ride a wave of goodwill to the end of the composition.

Paden – Don’t Hold Back / Vohnic Music

Built on Principle – The Modesty Martyrs EP

Built on Principle begin their Modesty Martyrs EP with Duh. The track utilizes a groovy backing beat inspired by 1970s psych/guitar-led rock. The feature (Myka 9) on this initial track ensures that this is one of the most heady introductory efforts we’ve heard. Fans will need to play this cut a number of times before hearing every line and dynamic that issues forth.

There is a mid-1990s NYC sound to Smooth Unison (an effort which features Vast Aire) that will have listeners sailing away on a chill, electronic-tinged beat. There is just the smallest amount of mid-century modern jazz drums that are interspersed during the effort. We’re particularly in love with the vocal hand-off that occurs during just after the first minute. It’s this spontaneity that makes The Modesty Martyrs EP so strong. Fans will be always on their toes; the only constant here is that the resulting material is strong.

Devolution goes even further back into the crates with some impressive scratching (done here by Scratch Johnsonic). Hypatia’s Son’s opening is nothing less than amazing. The repeated sample immediately draws attention, while the rapid-fire flow that rises to prominence tattoos the track deep into the psyche of anyone listening in.

Run of the Rosicrucian is one of the most unlikely rap tracks we’ve heard. There is a big band / 1920-30s jazz sample that inserts a bit of the traditional / Great Gatsby-esque pomp onto the later registers of the release.

Without Water has a haunting backing beat which draws upon the tradition of Wu-Tang or The Gravediggaz. Blending this 1990s approach with a bit of early-oughts Rhymesayers acts, it’s no surprise that Built on Principle is able to end the release in a wholly unique fashion.

Top Tracks: Smooth Unison (featuring Vast Aire), 
Run of the Rosicrucian, Without Water (featuring Main Flow)

Rating: 9.2/10

Built on Principle – The Modesty Martyrs EP / 2018 Self Released / 8 Tracks / Bandcamp

Joe Miralles Trio – Narrow Path

Glorious Night is the first track on Narrow Path, the new album from Joe Miralles. The hopeful vocals and taut drum, bass, and guitar arrangements makes for a track that is equal parts 1990s alternative and 1970s singer-songwriter. While this introductory single would easily make its way onto radio  / playlist rotation, I feel that the backing instrumentation far outstrips the quality of the average radio track. There is a density to this arrangement that will ensure listeners continue to find new twists and turns even five or ten plays in.

Blue has some impressive guitar work that begins the track, after which the bass and vocals rise up into prominence. The act is able to whip in more of their influences during this second song on the EP; bits of Bon Jovi and Springsteen can be heard during this outing.

Narrow Path is an absolutely epic track that looks to the halcyon days of progressive rock and John Denver-esque storytelling to make for a cut that will resound loudly with listeners long after the EP ceases to play. It is during Narrow Path where the vocals take a focal point; standing boldly above the instrumentation, these vocals are able to easily connect with fans.

I Owe You has a traditional sort of sound that succeeds to a bouncy bass line, charismatic vocals, and on-point piano and drums. A bit of strings added into the mix establishes I Owe You as a late-album track that is nigh-perfect.

Break would be a great track to introduce fans of Umphrey’s McGee or NRBQ ; there is a bit of jam band mixed into a funky 1970s rock backdrop. The tracks on Narrow Path provide a solid introduction to the Joe Miralles Trio. Make it a point to check out their main domain or Facebook for more samples of their music and updates/news from the act themselves.

Top Tracks: Glorious Night, Narrow Path

Rating: 8.4/10

Joe Miralles Trio – Narrow Path / 2018 Self Released / 5 Tracks / Domain / Facebook

DPB – Feel So Good Today

Feel So Good Today is a positive-rap track that blends together Ne*Yo and Flo Rida to effortlessly skirt pop-R&B and rap styles. The sunny backing beat is partially island rhythms mixed in with EDM. DPB’s rap style is polished, contributing more than the lyrical content. The cadence of his rap style during this single adds a further layer of harmony. One could easily imagine Feel So Good Today slotting on pop radio rotation or Spotify playlist. The bit of a breakdown at the 3:00 minute mark allows for a strong promotion of the song’s message along with building up the momentum of the last minute.

DPB – Feel So Good Today / Facebook

Mz Rockastella – Who We Are

Mz Rockastella creates straight fire with her latest single, Who We Are. We’re quite impressed at the rapid-fire flow that she lays down here.  The intricate wordplay ensures that listeners will have to play the single back multiple times before hearing everything that has been contained within. The synth and percussive elements of the song’s backing beat provides a robust backdrop, rising and falling to properly highlight Mz Rockastella’s flow at all of the right points.

The production of Who We Are is crisp, making it easy for each of the elements – the backing beat, Mz Rockastella’s flow – to shine alone and as part of a greater whole. For additional information about the performer and for the latest information about any upcoming music, make it a point to go to her social media and see what is going on.

Mz Rockastella – Who We Are / Youtube / ReverbNation

Ryan Zimmerman – Solitude Blues

On Solitude Blues, Ryan Zimmerman is able to tell a dense and detailed story with little more than his guitar. There is a rough-hewn sound that imparts further realism to the track. Ryan’s vocals have that same dusty, experienced sound that will call forth comparisons to Chris Cornell and Waylon Jennings. Effortlessly moving through country and western, blues, and rock styles, Zimmerman is able to make his Solitude Blues into something that will stick around listeners’ brains long after the track ceases to play. The presence of a secondary set of vocals at opportune points further increases the depth of the composition.

Ryan Zimmerman – Solitude Blues / Domain / Facebook /