American Authors is one of those bands I had heard about due to their hit “Best Day of My Life” from 2013, but I had never wanted to take a deeper dive. It is not because they weren’t any good band, it is just not my type of music. It is too pop and generic and nothing really interested me. Well, with the release of their third album, ‘Seasons’, that has now changed.
The reason for that change is simple, they have two songs on the album by a couple of my favorite singers right now, Billy Raffoul and Bear Rinehart (Needtobreathe). You see, those two put out a song…I will listen and American Authors only reap the benefits…or do they…we will have to see.
I don’t know much about the band, so I will get straight into the music. American Authors are really good at writing, happy type, uplifting songs and the opening track, “Stay Around”, is just that. It is an uptempo and fun song that sounds exactly like an Imagine Dragon song with that drum beat and the lyrical phrasing. Good song, but come on if you are going to copy any one why the hell would you copy Imagine Dragons?
The next song is one of the best on the album called “Say Amen”. It features new singer Billy Raffoul and is probably why I am biased about loving this song. It is a darker song for American Authors and I like this darker edge to the band. Bill’s Jeff Buckley style vocals work well with singer Zac Barnett who I think changes his vocals to be a little more in Billy’s style which is great because Billy’s vocals have a lot of texture and character.
Continue reading “American Authors – ‘Seasons’ – Album Review”
It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2018 or the Top Albums of 2018 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.
Let’s get started…
#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different. She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds. I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically. This one is no different. It is more pop than country, but still good.
#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’: Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all. If you want to get moving, this will do it.
Continue reading “The Top Songs of 2018”
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2018”
There are only a few bands in your lifetime that come along and touch you in ways that nothing else can. I have been fortunate enough to have that happen on a few occasions. Needtobreathe is one of those bands for me. Their music speaks to me and makes me feel things that have made them a part of my life. I have only seen them live 3 times now and each time they get better. I have all their studio albums on vinyl and now their 2 live albums. The latest to the collection is the release ‘Acoustic Live, Vol. 1’. And that is what we are going to talk about here today.
Back in 2017, Needtobreathe went on their first ever acoustic tour. They played smaller venues and stripped it down bare to make the shows as intimate as they possibly could. Sadly, I had to miss the show due to my work schedule and let me tell you how much that sucked. I hate that work gets in the way of life.
Back to the album…the cover art was drawn by none other than Bo Rhinehart, lead guitarist. He is one talented MF. He also designed the videos shown during their most recent tour that my wife and I caught this past Summer (read about HERE). The rest of the artwork is really strong giving the album this vintage, retro look of say the early 1900’s. It is really cool.
Continue reading “Needtobreathe – ‘Acoustic Live, Vol. 1’ – Album Review”
For My Sunday Song #120, I am discussing one of my favorite songs of 2018 called “I’m Not A Saint” by newcomer Billy Raffoul. The song is from his 2018 E.P. called ‘1975’ which I did a review on a couple months back (go check it out – click here). The song was released as a single, but sadly, I don’t think I have heard it on the radio which I find to be sad as the world is missing out on a real talent.
When I saw Billy Raffoul open for Needtobreathe over the Summer, I was really impressed with his Jeff Buckley sounding vocals and so I picked up the E.P on vinyl at the show (which he gladly signed for me) and it turned out to be one of my favorite albums I have heard this year. This song in particular jumped out at me and I really connected to it.
The song is about the fact we all have things we do that we know we shouldn’t. Some sort of vice that is keeping us from being what he calls a “saint” such as smoking, drinking and cursing (which is my biggest problem). He states he could be a saint if he tried, but honestly, I don’t think he is going to try which is fine as there is nothing wrong with having a vice (well as long as it doesn’t kill you I guess it is okay.
Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “I’m Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul”
Wow! Another HUGE week of releases. There are a ton I am interested in and some I have bought already or will be very, very soon. There is a wide range of artists covering Rock, Metal, Country, R&B, Pop, Showtunes, Christian, Alternative, Hip Hop and many more. There has to be something you will be digging. If not, let me know and let me if there is. I love to know what people are in to and whether or not I am missing out on anything good. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Have a great weekend!!
- Needtobreathe – Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 – (Atlantic Records): If you read my site, you know this is one of my favorite bands so it is no wonder this tops the list. The vinyl is on order and I hope I get it on release day, but doubt it since it is from the NTB webstore and not Amazon. Oh well! The album is a collection of acoustic tracks from their acoustic tour last year. All classic NTB tracks and these guys are fantastic live, so high expectations.
- Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell (Deluxe) – (Universal Music): This set looks S.W.E.E.T.!! An extensive greatest hits compilation of his Soundgarden, Audioslave and Solo work among some rare treats as well. This is another must have in the physical form. It is on the Christmas list and if I don’t get it, I will immediately buy on Amazon Christmas Day.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 16th”
Before we get into the album review, let me go into the story of how I came across Billy Raffoul. My wife and I went to see Needtobreathe in concert on August 21st, 2018 (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW). Billy was the opening act of a triple bill. When we arrived he came storming on stage before we got to our seat. We didn’t mean to arrive then, traffic just sucked.
When I go to a show, I enjoy watching the opening acts and giving them the respect they deserve. Hey, you never know if they will be the next big thing. Watching Billy, I felt that he could be just that. While I was listening to him, I turned to my wife and told her that I loved his voice. It has this Jeff Buckley raspiness that was incredible. Imagine my surprise when I read his bio online, it actually mentions that same Buckley feel. Glad I wasn’t imagining things.
I can’t tell you the songs he sang as I had never heard of him before, but I do know he played Jimi Hendrix’s Fire. Hell, he is a lefty like Jimi and has that same upside down lefty guitar. I am sure he knows he could actually buy a left handed guitar!!
Continue reading “Billy Raffoul – 1975 E.P. – Album Review”
I don’t get to enough Live shows each year. I wish I could get to more, but when I do get to attend it is always worth the time and money. Seeing your favorite band is always the best thing ever. There is nothing like hearing your favorite songs live as they are always a little different than the studio album and a good band can make them even better. Thankfully Needtobreathe is a good band…hell…they are a great band.
If you follow my site, you know Def Leppard and Kiss are two of my favorites. Needtobreathe is right up there with them for me. I have every album on vinyl and I have now seen them live 3 times (which isn’t a lot, but I don’t usually see too many bands more than once).
Let’s get to the adventure of the show. My wife decided she would attend the show with me this time as my daughter doesn’t really know the band and she had no interest. My wife knows they are one of my favorite bands so she thought it would be a fun night and a good chance for us to have a date night…no kids!!! She even made a playlist on her phone so she could familiarize herself with the band.
I get home from work that night and I can see something is off with my wife when I get home. I asked her if she was okay and she lied and told me she was fine, but I knew something was off. I gave her the opportunity to back out and that I would either go alone or drag my oldest daughter. My wife toughed it out and went as she didn’t want to disappoint me. It turns out she felt she was getting a kidney stone and if you have had one you know how painful that is. I will let you know by the end of the night she was feeling fine and even started enjoying herself.
Continue reading “Needtobreathe – Concert Review – (August 21st, 2018 Charlotte, NC)”
Needtobreathe released their new E.P. titles ‘Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions)’ which is a longer name than the album as the album is merely an E.P. featuring only 4 tracks. The Niles City Sound Sessions is actually a place in Fort Worth, Texas with a trio of producers that call themselves Niles City Sound. Needtobreathe sat with them for a time and these four songs came from that session.
I have ordered this on a beautiful 10″ Pink Vinyl, but it won’t actually come until September which is a long way from now. I will have been to the concert supporting this release before I actually have the physical product. The concert is August 21st out in the blistering heat at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. Nothing like a concert, outside in the middle of Summer!!!
The band consists of the following members…
- Bear Rinehart – vocals
- Bo Rinehart – guitar, banjo, mandolin
- Seth Bolt – bass, percussion
- Josh Lovelace – piano, organ
Since it is only 4 tracks, let us get right to it…
“Bridges Burn” was is the first track and it opened up with some weird “da-doo, da-doo, doo, doo, doo, doo nonsense (it isn’t that bad once you hear the rest of the song). I became skeptical real quick. Thankfully that was extremely short-lived. The song then turns into a classic Needtobreathe. The slow groove along with the piano accompaniment and Bear Rinehart’s vocals pouring out the emotion and allows you to feel everything he is releasing into the song. They are still incorporating some electronic elements, but not enough to distract.
Continue reading “Needtobreathe – Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions) E.P. – Album Review”
Are things heating up where you live? They are here. Damn it has been hot! Sadly, the music this week is not really…hot. There is not a whole heckuva lot screaming at me, but I am sure I will get to some of it eventually. Maybe a good time to play catchup on releases from earlier in the year that I missed. I do have one I want and it is highlighted in Blue. Let me know what interests you or what I missed on the list.
- Needtobreathe – Forever on your Side: Niles City Sound Sessions – (Atlantic): A four song E.P. from Needtobreathe is always welcome. Anything new from these guys is welcome. One of my favorite bands and this one is music created from their time spent at Niles City. Here is what they say about it…”Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions) was recorded with the producer trio Niles City Sound (Leon Bridges) out of their studio in Ft. Worth, TX. The 4-track collection of songs and collaboration represents a creative leap for the band, who usually self-records and produces out of their home studio, Plantation Studios, in Summerville, SC.” I have the 10″ Pink Vinyl on order and sadly won’t arrive until the end of September so for now I will stream or grab the CD. Oh yeah, my wife and I have a date night to see Needtobreathe in August. Yes…I am a fan.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – July 13th”