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  • SuperfanNews | Real Music Media

    Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas Do No Harm, Take No Shit: A Vulture Wake New Age Healers Tease Their Fourth Album Revolution Above Disorder Three Sides of One by King's X Primus Tracks 24 Sept 2022 Unlovable by Beach Weather Aaron Meeks 19 Aug 2022 Laryngitis & Getcha by Won't Say Rabbit Muse BeeLove 29 Jul 2022 Did you know that HMV still exists? Yeah, me neither. Turns out that people still buy CDs from their high street. Who knew! Well, if you happened to be wondering past the Bristol branch earlier this year and you heard an audial soup of overly reverbed guitars, characterful synth play and distant yet commanding vocals spilling out on to the concrete, you may well have witnessed one of the very first official outings of local two-piece Kodomotachi. Kodomotachis First Demos S2Interlude4 Let’s Look At 1991! In this season finale Matt and Chris discuss the best and worst of the goliath year in music, 1991. Queen, Prince and the King of Pop all make an appearance. Grunge makes its presence known and the gazing at shoes begins in earnest. This was a monster year the guys can't do justice to in under 2 hours... but they'll give it a bloody good go! Superfancast is the podcast that uses the sacred art of quizzing to sort the fans from the frauds. If you are a Superfan of your favourite artist and are ready to run the musical gauntlet then get in touch to be featured on an episode. Visit the contact page to tell us what makes you a Superfan. The nuttier the better! Superfan News & Reviews is music media for the fans by the fans . Create a free account and submit your own music reviews in seconds. The music world wants to know what YOU think. Log In Garth Brooks by Garth Brooks Anthony Fajardo 25 Jul 2022 Pressurelicious by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Future Cashway Cashway 23 Jul 2022 is this what i look like by Yours Truly Jesse Keel 15 Jul 2022 Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun Chris Peters 8 Oct 2021 What Is Glitchcore? Aaron Meeks 6 Aug 2022 The New Home Of Independent Music Reviews? Aaron Meeks 5 Aug 2022

  • Artist Spotlights | SuperfanNews

    Kodomotachis First Demos 15 Oct 2022 Read More Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas 4 Oct 2022 Read More Do No Harm, Take No Shit: A Vulture Wake 30 Jul 2022 Read More New Age Healers Tease Their Fourth Album 14 Jul 2022 Read More Revolution Above Disorder 30 Jun 2022 Read More Patersun: Melodic Rock From The Scottish Borders 25 Jun 2022 Read More Forthcoming Live EP from Silver Haar 13 Jun 2022 Read More Brass Monkey: Grungy Blues Rock from the North East of England 21 Mar 2022 Read More The Many Faces of La Casa Al Mare 3 Apr 2022 Read More First Signs Of The Aftermath 23 Mar 2022 Read More Want Us To Shine The Spotlight On You? 10 Mar 2023 Read More

  • Kodomotachis First Demos | SuperfanNews

    Kodomotachis First Demos Chris Peters 15 Oct 2022 Did you know that HMV still exists? Yeah, me neither. Turns out that people still buy CDs from their high street. Who knew! Well, if you happened to be wondering past the Bristol branch earlier this year and you heard an audial soup of overly reverbed guitars, characterful synth play and distant yet commanding vocals spilling out on to the concrete, you may well have witnessed one of the very first official outings of local two-piece Kodomotachi. I once caught former England football manager Glenn Hoddle doing a book signing at an HMV so I can confirm they are definitely willing to break the mould when it comes to hosting. Kodomotachi’s appearance, however, is something far more interesting since at the time of writing they still only have a 10 minute demo available and have not begun gigging in earnest yet. To be at this point in their journey and still managing to land an in-store performance at a branch of the UKs largest music retailer suggests we should probably be paying attention. So let us catch up. Kodomotachi translates from Japanese as ‘the children’. They’ve gone and duped you again though. This duo are not naive teens messing around on their dad’s instruments. This pair are seasoned musicians bringing together their years of experience playing post punk, new wave and gentler acoustic work to create something entirely different and all together unique. They express a sound and style made possible only through their combined influences and interests as well as new approaches to instrumentation they hadn’t necessarily explored prior to Kodomotachi. On the (very electric) guitars and much of the vocals is Nick Moran. Moran has passed through a number of bands over the years but has been most notable as a singer songwriter with an acoustic guitar. He traded his acoustics for electrics a few years ago and has since been steadily sinking deeper and deeper into an ocean of effects. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I am thoroughly on board with Moran's sound. On Polythene, the first of two tracks on the accurately named Kodomotachis First Demos, he manages to permeate every inch of space with shimmering streams that provide a canvas for him to paint on top of. The foreground melodies are then played in a beautifully hopeful, chiming tone and are surprisingly minimalist which is all they need to be to build the tracks atmosphere. John Joseph Lynch provides the synths, drum machines, production and additional vocals for Kodomotachi. Much like his partner, Lynch is no newcomer to music, having been a member of the Sheffield based early noughties rock group Pink Grease. He has also performed solo under various guises and appears to be able to play a different instrument each day of the week. The depth added by Lynch's production masterfully clouds any hint that this group is only two members. The layering of the vocals and the way they are treated is key to the groups sound as is the analogue synth effects that are really taken for a spin on Impossible Boy. Kodomotachis First Demos is available on Bandcamp now as a taster of what's to come. They are currently planning a run of live performances so follow them on Bandcamp or at to stay on top of dates and venues. As an introduction to this intriguing new project 'First Demos' is infuriatingly short but equally pleasing. If Ride and The Velvet Underground got together and took a lot of Ketamine they might produce something not dissimilar to this and as far as compliments go I think that's a pretty big one. With that in mind, I strongly suggest you give this a listen and maybe keep an ear out for Kodomotachi in the months and years to come.

  • Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas | SuperfanNews

    Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas Chris Peters 4 Oct 2022 It’s not often you find a band that blend genres so seamlessly that they seem to define their own. To do that as a three piece and still create layers and depth worthy of a group twice their size is even more impressive. Bosola have been refining their unique alternative rock with dreamy elements and jangly guitars for the last couple of years and are currently celebrating the release of their second EP Thomas and Judas. To mark the launch Bosola will be playing a one off headline gig at The Lubber Fiend in Newcastle this Saturday October 8th. If you find yourself wandering the North East this weekend itching for some loud music you should definitely make your way there. Listening to Bosola pulls the listener in so many directions with their style and approach. Tim Cox's expressive lead vocal has a personal quality to it as well as a subtle punk influence bleeding through, particularly on the slower numbers. In the heavier sections the guitars sound way more numerous than seems possible for a three piece with hefty, chugging chords contrasting with dreamy picked sections melting through reverb. The rhythm section displays equally impressive flexibility with playful basslines underpinning most tunes and Andersons drumming stitching everything together yet still finding time for cheerful little fills at every opportunity. Superfan News caught up with Tim Cox earlier in the week to discuss Bosola, the new EP and what we can expect from them in the coming months. SN: So how did you end up making this wonderful music together? TC: [Myself] and Pete were playing songs as a folk duo before lockdown and decided during the pandemic to give the band thing a go and it's escalated from there. Emma came on board after we recorded the first EP and we have been a three piece ever since. We all bring our own musical influences to bear on Tim's songs and we take influence from The Smiths, The Replacements, The Coral, St Vincent, Kate Bush and Bob Mould. SN: You’ve just released your second EP, Thomas and Judas. Did you approach this one any differently to your debut release? TC: Well there were some similarities - the same producer, James Haselhurst and the same studio, Grain Studios in Byker, Newcastle - but the difference is largely that we had rehearsed some of the songs before recording them and Emma is on drums in this one. This EP tilts towards a more alternative rock feel than the first which draws more on an Indie Folk/ Britpop vibe. Playing together has given us a different energy and this EP was recorded in Summer 2021 so it feels really eclectic as we hadn't quite developed our sound at that point. Still I think it's a solid EP and the singles have had a good reception so far and have provided the launch pad for our plans going forward. SN: Who’s the brains behind the fantastic cover art you have for Thomas & Judas? TC: I'd like to say it was me but we worked with a graphic designer called Graeme 'Chappy' Chapman who works under the moniker 'Limited Output'. It's important to us that the aesthetic matches the mood of the tracks so it works as a coherent piece of art. Lots of people seem to like it! SN: What’s the live music scene looking like in and around Newcastle these days? Has it been affected much by the events of the last few years? TC: It's looking pretty lively I have to say. Lots of new bands and some new venues popping up all over the region since the end of lockdown. It seems like people were writing songs during lockdown and are getting out there to play them. Putting on gigs can be frustrating as people wait until the last minute to buy tickets so it's always kind of hair raising being a DIY band but I think that's the case across the country to be honest. All in all guitar music is in fine fettle in the North East of England. SN: You have an EP launch at The Lubber Fiend in Newcastle this coming Saturday. What can people expect from Bosola’s live performance? TC: Our gigs tend to be sweaty and raucous. Saturday will be no different but we will be dipping into our deep cut repertoire so the acoustic guitar will be making an appearance. SN: What’s on the horizon after this release? Will you be returning to the studio or the venues for the remainder of the year? TC: We have a new single ready to go which we recorded earlier this year so we will probably release that. That's called 'Worth the Wait' and we are looking at getting into the studio to record some new demos. Our sound has changed a lot since we recorded 'Thomas & Judas' and so we are excited to get back in to the studio. Live wise we have a few gigs lined up before the end of the year. In October Tim is supporting Ren Lawton on the London date of his tour at Camden Chapel on the 20th October. Then we play the Mosaic Tap with Oddo's Gaze in Newcastle and then we play Ghost Signals' No Shit Xmas parties gig in Gateshead on the 10th December. Find Bosola on bandcamp at and purchase their new EP from Deliberator Records at

  • Reviews | SuperfanNews

    Ronnie Hawkins by Ronnie Hawkins 11 Jul 2022 Read More Still Bill by Bill Withers 11 Jul 2022 Read More Music from Big Pink by The Band 11 Jul 2022 Read More Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash 11 Jul 2022 Read More Just As I Am by Bill Withers 11 Jul 2022 Read More Mixtures by Xenura 27 Jun 2022 Read More Rise of the Monarch by AmaLee 26 Jun 2022 Read More Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum by Alestorm 24 Jun 2022 Read More American Heartbreak by Zach Bryan 30 May 2022 Read More 12th House Rock by Narrow Head 21 May 2022 Read More Mr Morale & The Big Steppers - Kendrick Lamar 18 May 2022 Read More Conspiranoid by Primus 3 May 2022 Read More Medulla by Bjork 25 Apr 2022 Read More The Space by Somali Yacht Club 22 Apr 2022 Read More Space Fruit Vineyard by Japanese Television 16 Apr 2022 Read More Unlimited Love by Red Hot Chili Peppers 15 Apr 2022 Read More Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers 13 Apr 2022 Read More This is Alphabeat (International Edition, 2006) by Alphabeat 11 Apr 2022 Read More 1999 by Prince 9 Apr 2022 Read More King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime by Faith No More 8 Apr 2022 Read More There Is Nothing Left To Lose by Foo Fighters 6 Apr 2022 Read More K Hole by Alex Cameron 1 Apr 2022 Read More I Dare You by ROE 31 Mar 2022 Read More Chiac Disco by Lisa LeBlanc 18 Mar 2022 Read More Alpha by Shenseea 11 Mar 2022 Read More Stink​-​O​-​Vision by Stinkin Slumrok 4 Mar 2022 Read More Inglorious Eastern Cowboy by ALI 25 Feb 2022 Read More Internet Folk Songs by Monkey And The Permavirgins 18 Feb 2022 Read More Bubblegum by Elle Lexxa 11 Feb 2022 Read More A Gut Feeling by Cassels 4 Feb 2022 Read More Barber Westchester Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dylan Kanner 28 Jan 2022 Read More The Sunrise Of Mankind by Erragal 21 Jan 2022 Read More From A Birds Eye View by Cordae 14 Jan 2022 Read More Starburst In The Car by Rosario 7 Jan 2022 Read More Forgetmenot by Five Pebbles 31 Dec 2021 Read More Personal Hotspots by Kitten 17 Dec 2021 Read More Against The World by Hanson 10 Dec 2021 Read More Your Light by cxlt. 3 Dec 2021 Read More Crystal Throne by Crystal Throne 26 Nov 2021 Read More Oud Zeer by Jan Swerts 19 Nov 2021 Read More The Walls Are Way Too Thin by Holly Humberstone 19 Nov 2021 Read More When You Walk Away by FUR 12 Nov 2021 Read More Gate of Kluna by Kuunatic 5 Nov 2021 Read More Black Harvest by Green Lung 29 Oct 2021 Read More Halloqveen by Qveen Herby 22 Oct 2021 Read More Gone To Color by Gone To Color 15 Oct 2021 Read More Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun 8 Oct 2021 Read More What Is Glitchcore? 6 Aug 2022 Read More

  • Gary Hoey Live at TCAN, Natick MA | SuperfanNews

    Gary Hoey Live at TCAN, Natick MA Ira Sperling 28 Jul 2022 Singer/guitarist Gary Hoey has been around the block more than a few times. Emerging in the early 90s as an instrumental shredder, the Lowell MA native scored a Billboard #3 Rock hit with his cover of Focus’ Hocus Pocus. Since then, he’s added vocals to his repertoire, delved deeply into the blues, toured extensively with guitarist Lita Ford and become the music director for Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp. He is also the creator of the much loved Ho Ho Hoey series of holiday shows, where he uses rock guitar stylings to reimagine Christmas classics. Hoey recently performed at The Center For Arts At Natick, a lovely small theater with great sound and chill ambiance. Taking the stage as a power trio with bass and drums, Hoey took the house on a musical journey. Mixing classic blues (Going Down) with original blues compositions, iconic surf tunes (Pipeline, Penetration) and eclectic covers (Tom Cochrane’s Lunatic Fringe, Low Rider), Hoey’s guitar and vocal chops are as sharp as ever. Hoey also brought his son Ian, a solid guitarist in his own right, on stage for some father/son blues jams. It was easy to clock the pride on Gary’s face as Ian took off on some blues flights of fantasy. The family vibe was strong for this show. In addition to everything else, Hoey is one of the most humble and appreciative entertainers in this man’s experience. He’s constantly thanking the crowd for coming and always manages to name check members of the armed forces at show’s end, playing the Star Spangled Banner as the show comes to a close. Short story: if you love instrumental shredding, blues, surf and rock guitar from a man that’s truly thankful you’re spending your hard earned money with him, Gary Hoey is your guy. Plus, he live-streamed the show so his mom could watch from home. How can you go wrong?

  • Three Sides of One by King's X | SuperfanNews

    Three Sides of One by King's X Primus Tracks 24 Sept 2022 Oh, what a glorious return, 14 years later, of King's X. A band's band by any measure, the group has legions of big-name admirers, yet has largely remained out of the mainstream for much of its career. To be certain, Dug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill have remained active numerous side projects between (and in place of) King's X record cycles over the years, and the creative time away from one another is realized on Three Sides of One, a title representing the group's individual personalities as parts of the whole of King's X. The standard King's X sound and vibe is there - Dug is unmistakable, Ty's idiosyncratic guitar tone remains the envy of many, and Jerry's quick-twitch drumming keeps the tracks driving. However, the band finds new wrinkles in their signature sound, starting with the driving pair of "Let It Rain" and "Flood Pt. 1" - guitars more detuned and chugging than usual, strings and keyboards around the edges, some team percussion, and even a false ending to "Nothing But The Truth". These little things capture the attention of the seasoned listener, but it's also a joy to hear the band's riffing and signature vocal melodies again after so long away. Ty and Jerry's harmonies support Dug's soulful lead vocals throughout the album. Further, this latter-day display of power tells us the band still has something worthwhile to give, and it's a pleasurable reminder that, whether it's an up-tempo rocker or a contemplative ballad, hot damn can these guys write and play with the best in the rock world. Stray observations: -Longtime fans will be happy to hear background vocals from Wally Farkas on numerous tracks. -Clean production from Michael Parnin gives everyone room to shine -Album notes indicate this record was at least three years in the making. Well worth the wait. Standout tracks: Let It Rain, Give It Up, Watcher

  • Crystal Throne by Crystal Throne | SuperfanNews

    Crystal Throne by Crystal Throne Chris Peters 26 Nov 2021 Remember that time you dreamt you were living inside a fast paced 80s arcade racing game? Do you remember the soundtrack? Let me jog your memory - it was French progressive heavy metal band Crystal Throne. Well believe it or not your dreams have come true and Crystal Throne are here to rock you straight to wherever it is they reside in the far corners of the galaxy. The opening number to this self titled debut album is a journey in itself. If you happen to miss the cover art ripped straight from a page of a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook this instrumental first track may take you by surprise. We first hear an echoey distant guitar being picked which is soon drowned out by a more prominent riff bouncing around in the foreground with a tone that is cheeky and uplifting. Before long though a holy metal orchestra takes over every inch of the room. In the perfect amount of time to make this a successful introduction to the album the lead guitar then breaks down in to a textbook Hollywood ending and gives you a well earned breather and chance to gather your thoughts. Track 2 picks things up right where they left off and really we stay on that same page for most of the record. Guitarist Max Waynn is the sound of Crystal Throne and he manages to completely embody early eighties new wave heavy metal. Waynn shifts between catchy riffs, layered up rhythm and seizure inducing shredding. His pedal board which is transporting the listener through time and space is stuck in another era but we are all thankful for it. Vocalist Terry DeFire excites me less. His style is immediately recognisable and is reminiscent in every way of the new wave of British heavy metal bands from the late 70s and 80s. Unfortunately though, in trying to emulate his idols DeFire has planted himself in an octave his voice doesn't seem too confident in. Holding certain notes sometimes seems like a stretch for him and the range comes across unnatural. This may be lack of experience but I think he needs to find his own style and something that works for him a bit better. Valkyrie Ride breaks from the norm and incorporates some more guttural singing and growls. This adds a nice flavour and break from DeFire's regular pitch which can get a bit repetitive and even piercing. As always Waynn rips this song apart with his solo 4 minutes in and the vocals that come after this break are backed with evil laughs and theatrical character. The record ends with Crystal Warrior, an 8 minute behemoth that journeys through Mediterranean inspired guitar play, retro overdriven solos, dramatic breaks and enormously varied vocal parts. The layered guitars, diverse vocal approaches and defined sections give Crystal Warrior an operatic feel. It sounds like the soundtrack to a most awesome adventure and a great way to end this album. On the whole Crystal Throne have developed a recognisable character to their music. There is no doubt you are listening to the same band throughout and for a debut record that is always a good sign. There is some work required on the production of future records for sure and the vocal parts are not my favourite but I think Max Waynn is a pleasure to listen to. Have I been too critical? The record is out now on Spotify and Bandcamp so take a listen and let me know. Chris Peters

  • Unlovable by Beach Weather | SuperfanNews

    Unlovable by Beach Weather Aaron Meeks 19 Aug 2022 When I was a teen I pretended to play in many different bands. Or most of them were the same band on a different day. Most of my pretending was on guitar but I also pretended to be a lead singer. I do know how to play guitar and sing but I say pretending because none of us really knew what we were doing and you could sooner call us an all girl championship curling team than a band. One time we didn’t have a microphone but we discovered that a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack did the job. A pair of headphones obviously isn’t designed to be used in this way so it sounds distant and distorted and very cool. Is there a point to this story? I'de like to say yes but I guess you’ll find out at some point in the next five paragraphs. This week, during my usual trawl trough the new releases I came across the new single, Unlovable, from pop rock project Beach Weather. Don't get confused with Beach House and then spend 20 minutes looking up Beach House's back catalogue and wonder why this single sounds so different. That would be a waste of your time. Beach Weather is in fact a project of American singer-songwriter Nick Santino who has been releasing music under various names since 2006. I was simply drawn to this single by the supernatural, glowing silhouettes on the cover art. Unlovable opens with a wavy acoustic guitar, subtle retro sonar noises in the background and vocals sung through a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack (There it is!). The vocal melody doesn’t excite too much. The energy of the delivery reminds me a lot of Twenty One Pilots. That energy does increase with the chorus which comes in far sooner than you’d expect. I would have liked a longer verse or more drawn out structure. The chorus is brought in with stripped back music focused on the drums and sparing distorted guitar chords. In an unexpected turn a piano shows up at this point to provide a bouncy additional piece of rhythm. The post chorus centred around the repeated line ‘How did I get so damn unlovable’ is a much busier piece of music and I really like this step change from the intro. One thing this song has got a plenty is defined sections and a very clear structure. At the two minute mark we are rewarded with what can only be described as a guitar solo! It might not be very long or interesting but it meets all the requirements. That then unfolds in to the vocal bridge which brings us back in to the song proper. I like this segmentation and it also sticks in your mind far more easily. There is no grand crescendo for this song. After the final chorus there is a very purposeful stop. I appreciate the ending though and avoidance of a fade out. The production here is smart enough. The instrumentation is all identifiable and easy to follow but at the same time it’s surprisingly complex and the more you listen the more additional qualities you will pick out. Nick's voice has been treated well for this recording and is presented in a couple of subtly different ways in the verses, chorus and bridge. Sadly, the punchline I have been dancing around, is that I just don’t like the song that much. I cant speak for Beach Weather's entire catalogue, but based off this song alone I find the style to be a little too generic and just simply not offering me anything new or uncharted. If you are already a fan of Beach Weather or Santino's other work then this single might be up your alley but I don’t think it is a single that is going to draw in swathes of new listeners. Now I have discovered Nick Santino's existence though I will listen to something else by him before closing the door for good. Fingers crossed. Unlovable is available on streaming platforms now so take a listen yourself and hopefully it’s your thing.

  • Unlimited Love by Red Hot Chili Peppers | SuperfanNews

    Unlimited Love by Red Hot Chili Peppers Zampano Elegy 15 Apr 2022 John Frusciante is back with Red Hot Chili Peppers after a 16 year hiatus. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to finish listening to this album. I hope to one day come back to it, but was pretty turned off. Parts were fairly good - I enjoyed the bass line on “Aquatic Mouth Dance” and the overall groove of “Poster Child”. However this album overall left me feeling bittersweet about it, and I quickly became bored. Long gone are the Red Hot Chili Peppers of old. Their sound has matured. I wasn’t really into it and sadly ended up turning it off. I hope that one day I find myself in the mood to try and listen to it again. Of course, don’t take my word for it, go listen to it yourself. Your results may vary, and you may love it.

  • Music from Big Pink by The Band | SuperfanNews

    Music from Big Pink by The Band Tom Radigan 11 Jul 2022 In 1968 a lot was happening in rock music. A lot of new acts were emerging and bringing a type of powerful and effective sound to their music. One of these acts was a band called the Band. This band included five members: Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. They started out as singer Ronnie Hawkins’s backing band, the Hawks. They later became Bob Dylan’s backing band. They had already played for most of the decade together and had proven themselves to be talented musicians in their own right. When it came time for them to do their own album they were able to prevail. These five members all had something to give. None shined without the other. They all did their part. With Helm, Manuel and Danko's rocking and soulful voices, Robertson’s songwriting and Hudson’s musicianship would guide them to becoming one of the most successful rock groups of all time. The reason for the title of this album was due to the creation of these songs in a pink house in West Saugerties, New York. They used this house to write their own songs and some songs they worked on with Dylan. The first track on this album is Dylan’s “Tears of Rage” which was co-written by Manuel who also sings lead on it as well and makes this song such a soulful ballad. What hooked me to this song is the ballsy organ riff. And then it just becomes more interesting as hearing Manuel’s voice singing in a calm state of mind which brings this tune such beauty. The most famous song on the album that became the group's most signature song was “The Weight.” Like most of their songs it’s credited to just Robertson yet it has been documented from Helm over the years that the songwriting process was a group effort from all five of them. The power of this song is Levon’s voice and his harmonies between Danko and Manuel. The power of these three voices continue in the next track written by Manuel which is “We Can Talk.” It's such a comedic song that all three sing on. What makes this song so clever is that each of them finish each other's phrases. Another essential track from this album would be “Chest Fever” which has Hudson all over it with his heavy organ playing that carries the song. We can’t forget the hollering of Manuel singing lyrics that don’t make a lot of sense yet it’s so fun to sing. Danko collaborates with Dylan on the song “This Wheel’s on Fire.” This is a great tune that represents Danko’s raspy type of voice and is able to produce a raw sound on it. What helps add a great flavor to the song is the harmonies between Danko, Helm and Manuel. What ends the album is the gospel style song “I Shall Be Released” also written by Dylan. Manuel sings this in falsetto with harmonies from Helm and Danko in the chorus. It’s an interesting way to close out this masterpiece of an album. If you want to hear deep meaningful music then this album is for you.

  • Just As I Am by Bill Withers | SuperfanNews

    Just As I Am by Bill Withers Tom Radigan 11 Jul 2022 The 1971 debut album "Just As I Am" by Bill Withers launched him into the success of the music business. It’s an album that was able to show off his soulful voice and prolific songwriting talents. Ten of the twelve songs are written by Withers with two covers which were the popular "Everybody’s Talkin" by Freddy Neil and the Beatles "Let It Be." This album has all-star musicians all over it with Stephen Stills on guitar, Booker T Jones on guitar, keyboard and who did string arrangements, especially on songs like "Ain’t No Sunshine" which was the well known hit for this album along with "Grandma’s Hands." The opening track "Harlem" starts the album with a good 70’s groove. It’s a good intro before we hear the well known "Ain’t No Sunshine." When you listen to the eerie guitar riffs on Ain't No Sunshine by Withers and Stills. It focuses on a singer who can’t seem to find his girlfriend and is lonely without her. Withers claimed he wrote this song based on the movie "Days of Wine and Roses." This is what Withers had to say about the impact that the film had on him. "They were both alcoholics who were alternately weak and strong. It's like going back for seconds on rat poison. Sometimes you miss things that weren't particularly good for you. It's just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I'm not aware of." The string arrangements by Booker T bring a melody that adds to the tragedy of how the singer feels. The song was able to make it to number 3 on the charts. This song got Withers a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and earned him a Grammy for best R&B song. A song like "Grandma’s Hands" focuses on the important role Wither’s grandmother played in his life and when you hear that song the first thought is “Yessss.” I mean what a song. What can I say about this song that hasn't already been said. It’s bluesy, soulful, deep and authentic. You don't get much more real than that and this song really stays true to one’s roots. You know there is something unique about this song once humming from Withers starts and with the use of simple guitar work similar to "Ain’t No Sunshine." I also love how the drums just kick into the song to help emphasize the tone which is bittersweet about reminiscing his grandmother who has now passed on. It is pure poetry that focuses on one aspect of her which would be her hands and how he says “boy they really came in handy.” He looks back on how those hands defined her as the person he knew as a child. The song is an homage to a role model of someone who is no longer around but will never be forgotten. With the love of a family member Withers was able to create a soul classic. However it is a shame it only made it to number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100. A song that for me is a real ear worm would be "Sweet Wanomi." What was interesting about Withers' choice of topics when he wrote his songs was that he was basing these experiences on speculation and not that much on personal experience when it came to love due to the fact he was in the Navy for 9 years. He might have not lived what he was writing but he could feel it. And a song like "Sweet Wanomi" represents the love and affection you have for someone else. Especially with the repetition of “Sweet Wanomi resting in my arms.” The melody brings a mood of joy and happiness. The song captures beautiful imagery with lines like “a room with soft satin pillows. Cracklin’ fireplaces keeps us warm.” This is also a track where you can hear Stephen Stills's guitar really carry the song. What I love about Withers is his change of emotions in his songs. Like you hear a song about loving someone with a song like "Sweet Wanomi" and then the mood switches when a few tracks later you hear a song like "I’m Her Daddy." This song has a dark feel about the man in the song who reconnects with a woman named Lucy that he had a one night stand with and finds out she had a six year old daughter that he is the father of. The man in this song is upset by the news that he isn’t in her life and wants to meet her. The instrumentation brings a bluesy vibe of depression due to the fact he has no connection with her yet seems to want to be in her life. He has a lot of questions about how she is living. The line “did you give her one of my pictures?” makes him curious if she knows anything about him. The way Withers delivers the line “see that man that’s my daddy” brings a lot of heartbreak and trouble in his voice realizing this major event in his life. And even how he says “you should have told me Lucy” makes us realize he wants to be involved and also makes us wonder about his love for Lucy. I love that each song has a distinct mood and are not all about the glory of love. I do happen to appreciate and am fascinated by the dark songs of romance like "I’m Her Daddy" but I find the disturbing song "Better Off Dead" very interesting. This song is about a man who has an issue with alcoholism and his wife decides to leave him with their kids. He mentions how she tried to help him but he couldn’t stop his bad habits. He realizes he doesn’t want to live without her. He focuses on her unhappiness with him. A line that emphasizes their tough marriage would be “she’d sit and cry while I went out and pawned the things we owned.” What I love about this song is that there is a clear story that could be a movie or a play about a struggling married couple. I also love how Withers who was not married at the time and never was would be able to capture a dark situation that could unfortunately be the case for a specific family. I absolutely am engaged with the dark choice of symbolizing suicide by ending the song with the sound of a shotgun after the line “she’s better off without me and I’m better off dead” is used. It also is a different and interesting way to end an album. Especially a debut album. This album was able to help Withers receive a grammy nomination as Best New Artist of 1971. This album was able to reveal to the world who Bill Withers was and was able to be the start of something new for him and the rest of the world. Not bad for someone who had little music experience prior to this album.