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L.A. Beat

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If you like your roots, you will love the John Henrys

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If you like your rock and roll rootsy, with  a strong Tom Petty, Northern Pikes and Jr. Gone Wild influence, then  The John Henrys’ latest CD, ‘White Linen’ will be right up your alley, if not one of your new favourites.
The first track, ‘Little One’ draws you in with a catchy electric 12 string riff and vocals which are reminiscent of Jr. Gone Wild just makes you want to hear more.
 ‘Edge of December’ is more Tom Petty and ‘Hit The Floor’ has more of a country rock flavour, with some beautiful bended riffs backed by some catchy Hammond organ.
One outstanding track, ‘Peace of Mind,’  sounds like a long lost Northern Pikes track with a superb vocal melody and a catchy chord progression.
The title track ‘White Linen’ is lower tempo with an underlying Pink Floyd meets the Beatles influence.

Another  highlight ‘Stars Align’ is another one with a Northern Pikes’ feel as well as a touch of They Might Be Giants. Once again the understated organ makes the song.
‘Dawson City’ is reminiscent of the Band’s ’The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.’  And once again I can’t get enough of that cool, cool organ sound.
The last song on the CD, ‘the Patriot Song,’  has a strong bluegrass feel. Overall, this CD is a catchy, addictive slice of country rock. If you like your laid back classic rock and classic rock influenced music, then you will love the John Henrys’ new Cd ’White Linen.’
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Cd: White Linen
Band: The John Henrys
genre: country-rock
Record label: 9 lb Records

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Plaskett’s new CD Three has something for everyone

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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia songwriter Joel Plaskett spreads his wings and flies through a variety of influences on this new triple CD ‘Three.’Click here to hear Joel Plaskett
The first track from the first Cd, ‘Every time You Leave’  lays down a mid  ’70s Canned Heat country rock type of groove which carries  on throughout and I absolutely love backup singers Rose Cousins and Ana Egge who add a really cool vocal dimension to the tracks.
 A line from the second  track on the first CD, ‘Through and Through and Through’— “Good things come in threes” summarizes the concept of the CD.
 Most of the song titles are  three words repeated and of course there are three CDs. The first three  tracks are pretty upbeat pop rockers, then  Plaskett launches into  ‘Pine, Pine, Pine’ which is a bona fide country song, but sounds like it is being sung by the Northern Pikes.
One of the other huge highlights from the first CD is ‘Wishful Thinking’ which is another upbeat rocker with an understated country shuffle and some more superb harmonized back up vocals from Ana and Rose.
A cool feature is all three discs have their own individual liner notes, telling you who is performing on the tracks.
 Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson helped produce and mix this epic, but doesn’t actually play on it other than stomping cowboy boots on a track or two.

David Newberry plays laid back Blue Rodeo meets Todd Snider folk

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Vancouver based folk/ country singer David Newberry has an appealing  voice and modern folk rock sound which is reminiscent of Blue Rodeo, on his new CD ’When We Learn The Things  We Need To Learn.’ One of the big highlights with a strong Blue Rodeo influence  is ‘Fourth Fret’  which he sings an upbeat melody with passion and earnestness. Sioux Newberry adds some excellent background vocals to ‘Fourth Fret’ as well as  the ‘Gambling Song’ which are both highlights.Click here to hear David Newberry
 I like the subtle slide guitar on  ‘Come On’ as well as the ear turning lyrics.
‘Gambling Song’ which uses some quirky organ and offbeat almost reggae influenced guitar as well as has some quirky lyrics.
“Rabbit’s Foot’ has a Todd Snider feel to it and incorporates some unusual instruments. ‘True Stories ’ is powered by some catchy piano and has some very cool stream of consciousness lyrics.
‘All My Friends Are Famous’ is another highlight with catchy semi-political lyrics.
 The CD is pretty laid back with the odd exception, but it is a great listen for a lazy, hazy, windy and possibly hungover day.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD: When We Learn the Things We Need To Learn
Artist: David Newberry
Genre: folk/country
Record label: Northern Electric

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Patrick Keenan’s keyboards set down ’70s groove

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You’ve got to love the sound of a good old organ.
 This is one of the highlights throughout Winnipeg musician Patrick Keenan’s new hook filled CD ‘Washed Out Roads’Click here to hear Patrick Keenan
He adds a little bit of Clash in their more reggae inspired moments to  the first track ‘Pill Store.’ And the piano and organ adds a laid back, yet upbeat ’70s feel to all 11 songs.
I love the organ, which really enhances the CD’s title track which has some interesting ear opening stream of consciousness lyrics.
The title track also has some unusual lyrics, ending with ‘don’t let the world end up in a cage match, your God against mine.’ Because the lyrics are so unusual, I’d love to have a lyric sheet printed in the CD package
It’s  the quirky lyrics, keyboards and his appealing voice which is a cross between Soul Asylum and Rob Thomas that makes you want to listen to the CD again and again, to make sure you heard it right. It’s like what Soul Asylum would sound like if they used more keyboards and leaned more towards country music. Like on ‘Control’ which has some understated steel guitar.
‘Roof Rack Attack’ is a more ambient guitar pop styled song which is  my hands down favourite on the CD,  because of the guitar and the cool vocal melody not to mention the Neil Young references in the lyric  and a bit in the guitar solo.
His piano line in ‘Tobacco’ is a highlight which sounds a little bit like early Genesis. I love the keyboard bass line powering ’If You’re Curious’ which is another more alternative rock flavoured track.
It ends on a low key and piano powered note ‘Blade in An Acre.’
— by Richard  Amery L.A. Beat editor
CD:  Washed Out Roads
Artist: Patrick Keenan
Genre: folk/country
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