OSUKARU Transition www.osukarumusic.com [Release date 01.06.15]
A band led by keyboards player/songwriter Oz Osukaru and this album is half new material, with some older songs given a reboot. Must admit not to knowing the name, however the songs on here will appeal to those who enjoy bands like Heart (the big hair years) and Dante Fox.
The band features two vocalists, Frederik Werner and Cecilia Camuii, who does recall Heart’s Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar at times, none more so on the very Heart sounding ‘Edge Of A Broken Heart’, on which Janne Stark guests on guitar. Of the older songs ‘Mafia Wars’ features Jules Millis (Tigertailz/White Widdow) on vocals, a little heavier than the more hard rock leanings of the rest of the album.
Not a bad little collection of melodic hard rock and for a little variety they add in sax here and there. Not essential but worth a listen. ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
ED DUPAS A Good American Life
Pronounced ‘doo-PAH’, Ed is a singer songwriter based in Ann Arbor, Michigan whose songs examine life, love and loss.
Blending folk, country and Americana there’s clear linkages in his music through Dylan, James Taylor, Don McLean, The Boss, and more recently Ray LaMontagne. And such is the aplomb with which it’s delivered, it’s something of surprise to learn it’s is his debut.
Produced by Michael Crittenden (Drew Nelson) who also contributed on guitars, keys and backing vocals, and supported by Rob Avsharian on drums (Andy Timmons Band), John Connors on bass (formerly of The Verve Pipe), Drew Howard on pedal steel (Jill Jack, Drew Nelson), Craig Griffith on harmonica, and Tara Cleveland on backing vocals, (The Verve Pipe) there’s a country vibe to proceedings that’s accentuated by Dupas’s prairie drawl vocals and the underpinning pedal steel work.
Learning his trade performing acoustic cover versions throughout the Detroit area over the last decade, it’s only relatively recently that Dupas has had the confidence to write and perform his own material, with all but one of the songs on the album written in 10 months leading up to the making of the album.
A Good American Life is a good American record and well worth checking out if the male singer songwriter genre is of appeal. ***
DAVID CELIA Double Mind
Toronto based musician David Celia’s brand of roots tinged pop is something of a throwback with echoes of The Beatles, The Eagles, Bread, Leo Sayer, Steve Miller, and even Steely Dan.
Self-financed and produced, written and developed while touring across Europe and North America it’s a diverse platter of musical genres and lyrical themes that never takes life too seriously.
The highly Eagles-influenced ‘Welcome To The Show’ appropriately opens the set in an easy on the ear fashion, Double Mind throws in a hint of Reggae, Police/Steve Miller style, ‘Speak To Me’ a gentle Southern Man harmonica line, a jaunty xylophone permeates ‘This Disguise’, ‘Drunken Yoga’ and ‘Go Naked’ are irreverent swipes at the mundanity of everyday life, ‘Modern Widower’ has a Beatles feel complete with kazoo, ‘Princess Katie’ goes 50′s brass band/ choral, and ‘Willkommen In Deiner Show’ closes out revisiting the set opener in German.
It’s a little bewildering in breadth, a bit like flicking through the FM radio dial several decades ago on a hot, sunny US afternoon, but never less than a pleasant listen with plenty of hooks. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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