Saturday , April 13 2024
Reviews of a number of albums you may have missed.

Music Reviews: Brendan Kelley, The Naked Stills, The Rusty Wright Band, and the Zamora Rose Project

Hundreds and probably thousands of CDs are released each month. Here are a few that may have slipped under your radar.

Brendon Kelley may be young (21 years old) but he is already a music veteran. His musical journey has taken him from Massachusetts, to Austin, Texas. and to Nashville, where he recorded his new album, Quicksand. While he is at heart a singer/songwriter, his music has a little bite to it as it moves toward rock and roll. He is an excellent guitarist for his age and the title track is an example of his slide guitar expertise. The hardest rocker on the album is “Live My Dreams,” which is a direction he should explore more often. “Pass Me By” is an acoustic ballad where his fine voice is on display. Quicksand is an excellent release from a young and developing musician.

The Naked Stills are vocalist/rhythm guitarist Rocco DeRosa, lead guitarist Daniel King, bassist Ryan Callahan, and drummer Doug Standley. They are all New England musicians who gradually came together. They have played the local club and bar circuit and now are attempting to reach a new level of success with the release of their debut album, Cochecho. They are a rock and roll band who writes their own material. The lyrics are down to earth and realistic and fit the catchy nature of their music well.

The album may not have a cohesive feel but each track does have a distinctive nature. The memorable track is “Touchdown in Boston” with its bleak lyrics, which paint a picture of struggle and searching.  “Impossible” is a song that explodes from the speakers, as the band is in full rock and roll mode. Cochecho finds a band taking their music to the next level, and it’s worth joining them for the ride.

The Rusty Wright Band traces their history back to Michigan and 2004, when Rusty and Laurie Wright formed the band. Today guitarists and vocalists Randy and Laurie are joined by keyboardist Dave Brahce, drummer Peter Haist, and bassist Dennis Bellinger. They have developed into one of the finest blues bands that you may have never heard. They have now returned with their fourth album, This, That, & The Other Thing. Rusty Wright wrote nine of the 11 tracks that are straight-ahead blues with incisive lyrics. The lyrics of “Pen & Sword” explore the current political and social issues of the United States. The two covers, Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” and AC/DC’s reworked “Whole Lotta Rosie” are moved over to a blues format. The Rusty Wright Band and their new album are fine examples of the blues being alive and well.

The Zamora Rose Project was the brain child of songwriter Ron Rose and singer Phil Zamora. They are a rock and roll band who takes detours into a blues and gospel sound. Stand True is their debut album. They wrote or co-wrote all of the material and are able to write catchy hooks for their precise and always interesting lyrics. “Galileo’s Groove” is an acoustic piece that reflects on the fate of Galileo. “Painting It Blue” is a blues-and-rock fusion song that tells the story of a meeting between Keith Richards and Muddy Waters at the Chess Records Studio in Chicago. Stand True is a good debut album from a band that shows a lot of promise.

About David Bowling