Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Silent Heart By Kerani


Silent Heart



Written by

Steve Sheppard


The foundation of all that is beautiful can be found on this new release by Kerani entitled Silent Heart.  For me this album is about finding those quiet spaces within you in a world that has gone literally crazy, those silent moments we can all find deep inside, and thus this very album is an anthem for solitude, and a sanctuary of truth and peace.

The opening composition is deeply moving, and is the proud title track Silent Heart. The textured layers of piano and orchestration give us our directions to a peaceful mind along the corridors of confusion, emphasised by the creative minor segments within the arrangement.

This release is a far more piano based album by the artist, and as such the keys caress a more delicate palate of tone and timbre, the soft orchestration adds to that tapestry of touching melodies and moods, like on the offerings Colour the World and Solitude, both utterly splendid pieces, but both bathed in a determination to seek balance and tranquillity.

It is through a desire to want better, that through our meditative explorations, we can know better, and thus eventually do better. I was amazingly moved by a track that made me think of that and it’s called Tides of Emotion, and nestled blissfully towards the latter half of the album, this is such a powerful offering that one could easily imagine our tears cleansing our fears to this soundtrack of stunning abundant quality.

One must say great things about the symbiotic balance between the orchestration and the piano of Kerani on this album; she has utterly nailed the juxtaposition of her piano performance and the symphonic arrangements, in fact to a point that each composition is a harmonious delight to listen to, an example of which can be found on the concluding piece called Anthem, if ever an album was an anthem for the peace seeker then this is it, and this grand yet lush piece must be the soundtrack for that ultimate desire.

Silent Heart by Kerani is not a step in a different direction for the artist; it is a musical evolution in motion, it is a cathartic collection of moving tones that see her growth and progression in the genre of neo classical music. There is a true sense of honesty in this whole album that the world should embrace, as it truly seeks a place of quietude and serenity, a warm safe home where the beating of a single heart, a Silent Heart of oneness can be heard and embraced, as such, this release will be a major hit on the charts, and should be welcomed by all seeking sanctuary in music.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Your Tenderness By Richard Goldsworthy


Your Tenderness


Richard Goldsworthy

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Richard Goldsworthy is a remarkable pianist; I have enjoyed many of his compositions over the last couple of years and I am more than glad to say he is back with another new single, and this time entitled Your Tenderness. This title is so well made, as the pianist pulls off one of the most tender and sensitive performances thus far.

A gentle hand at the tiller is always needed when producing an offering of this elk, and Goldsworthy does it with sublime precision, the slow and tempered approach allows for a little uplifting energy as we move towards the half way juncture of the arrangement. Then we are in the flow of a new and charming energy that allows for a louder passage, and then a pulling back of once again pin point precision to conclude this most beautiful of songs.

It is indeed very rare to hear a piece like this that is created with such heart and true honest thoughtfulness, and as such, music like this, and presentations of solo piano like this, must surely come from a sincere place, a home of unconditional love and truth.

So here we are again with another masterful moment from the musician, Your Tenderness by Richard Goldsworthy could well be his best so far, but each composition I hear from the artist I also believe that to be true, never the less this one is sure to make a huge impression with the listeners and on the charts, it absolutely deserves to do so.

She's So Sweet By Keith Fiala


She's So Sweet


Keith Fiala

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This composition has to be the most unique I have reviewed for quite some time, as I listen to the smooth vibrancy of Jazz musician Keith Fiala and his brand new offering entitled She’s So Sweet. This has a quality about it that is incredibly addictive.

This multi-instrumental new release contains a range of keyboards, pertinent percussion, and of course the extremely sweet Trumpet of Fiala, the slow build and progression is a real treat here and for me it reminds me of many journey’s and places I have travelled, driving through the night, past the city lights, the tempo, the pace and the steady onward energy gives me such fond recollections.

The huge symbol in the middle of this piece was cleverly placed as was the spoken audio that went with it, and then we were off again on an ever on going journey of instrumental magic from the artist. A sublime chord progression and a pastiche of textures and tonal brilliance can all be found within this new release from Fiala.

She's So Sweet by Keith Fiala is a smooth ride of wonderful colours and is a tapestry of charm and a composition of chilled contentment, this is one of those tracks to press play to at the end of your day while you wind down with a delicious coffee, and simply breathe in the moment.

Ley Lines By Michelle Qureshi


Ley Lines


Michelle Qureshi

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have always been an admirer of the work of Michelle Qureshi; she has a sense of ambience like few others, and here today I am so blessed to be reviewing her latest single called Ley Lines, a subject that I must admit I have found fascinating for most of my life.

The idea of "leys" as straight tracks “energy pathways” across the landscape was put forward by the English antiquarian Alfred Watkins in the 1920s, particularly in his book The Old Straight Track, here Michelle Qureshi takes that subject and manifests one of the most compelling compositions relating to it and to be honest, I don’t recall another, so that also makes it for me, unique.

Once again she is spot on, we have one single Ley that lies just off the bottom of our island here in Cyprus, and when I gaze at the ocean that it touches I apply this composition to it and it fits perfectly, the slow soft pastiche of guitars and extremely gentle synths manifests a track so very redolent of the subject matter, and births an energy of a sublime nature.

This is one of those pieces I could listen to forever and I would never tire of it, Qureshi has not only created something timeless here, I believe she has brought into being one of her best singles of all time, this should be a huge hit for the artist and as such this is a must listen and purchase at all costs, acoustic guitar ambient music never sounded so good.

The Seeker By Bob Yonker


The Seeker


Bob Yonker

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Bob has been on my musical radar from 2019, and each time a new album is released we get another compilation of superior solo piano music that is not only beautiful, but artistically crafted, and one that contains a lake full of serenity and tone. So Bob Yonker is back with another new release entitled The Seeker, and we can be reassured with the knowledge that his course is still set fair, and into a land of tranquil descriptive piano music like never before.

The opening though has to be my favourite piece of Bobs so far and called Breath Of Spirit, this is one of those timeless reveries that you never wish to end, in fact it moved me so much I have now played it three times alone, sorry make that four, the soft chords and notes grow and fall back like a summer tide, the misty thoughtful and reflective nuances within this track make it my personal favourite from the album, it is beautifully meditative in the best possible way.

The release itself contains 12 bliss solo piano compositions; there are pieces like An Inner Peace, a composition that allows you to draw an extra breath and enjoy the moment, the repeating motif here is charming and the melody even sweeter. There are also many cheer filled moments on offerings like The Clouds Lift, a composition that would perhaps make a good television show theme, and the ebullient Journey To Joy.

There are segments of memory that move like a spring stream within this new release, the freedom of tracks like Waterfall, a simple, yet pleasing creation, and the most charming of all, another personal favourite of mine in the stunning River Of Grace, a track that reminded me of my friend David Lanz, that magical and lyrical flow is there, this one piece would make a superb single, it has a sense of the dramatic, but holds itself within its confines so very beautifully and is an absolute charmer.

The concluding offering is called Homecoming and if ever a track did in tone exactly what the title offers then this is it, a warm hug of a composition lays here, whilst our concluding arrangement Crystalline gifts us a moment to reflect and take in our musical journey with the artist, its pristine and careful nature allows us to float with grace, and be grateful for what we have just listened to.

I feel I have to say that The Seeker by Bob Yonker is the best work of the artist thus far; each track is carefully created to bring the optimum peace and tranquillity to the listeners mind heart and soul, with ease this is one of the most creative solo piano albums I have heard this year, and is a total pleasure to listen to, I feel certain that others will agree with me, and send The Seeker by Bob Yonker sailing up the charts, where it absolutely deserves.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Astris by Iasi Ensemble




Iasi Ensemble

Written by

Andy Rogers


World Music as a genre continues to explore new musical territories and open minds as never before. This exciting debut album from Iasi Ensemble continues to do just that with some style. Iasi means “healing”, and the ensemble says that it “hopes to soothe the souls of people with their unique blend of music”. 

The album features musicians from India, Iran, Kurdistan and Greece and as a result the music is an exhilarating blend of instruments and voices from the different countries involved. At times reminiscent of Indian classical music, at others it sounds like it came out of Bollywood… all this is suffused with middle-eastern influences from Iran and Kurdistan alongside synths and more from Greece… add to the mix some throat singing and a dash of didgeridoo and you see that this is an extraordinary collection of songs! 

We start with Whirling Desert: the sound of cicadas and a low synth sets the scene before an entrancing Indian vocal leads us into the song with the band playing sitar, tabla, tanbour and much more. Fans of such bands as Suns of Arqa will find much to love here.    

The two shorter tracks Dancing with the Unknown & Lake of the Heart sound very like things George Harrison would have done with The Beatles – think “Within You Without You” from Sergeant Pepper and you get the idea!

Symphony of Soil and Symphony of Wind are two tracks played back to back and very similar in style. The first stays mid-tempo throughout and features emotive vocals, the second is more like an Indian Raga – instrumental all through, it is beautifully played by all with a build in tempo; slow at the start building to a wonderfully colourful and musically dramatic finish.

Summer to Rain, the next track on the album, is a slow reflective piece. A steady drone underlays some vibrant sitar work before the piece ends on a rather atmospheric note.

Next we have Sea of Fire, a peel of wind-chimes introduces another exquisite Indian vocal before the music assumes a more Middle-Eastern feel as the tabla and other instruments join… the whole piece has a sad and melancholy feel as the vocalist holds long notes over an increasingly lively backing before the track ends on the sound of a rain-stick.

Astris the title track is a wonderful instrumental and possibly my personal favourite on the album… again, wind-chimes start the track followed by some very nice interplay between sitar and wind instruments which leads into a section featuring bass guitar, percussion and more. Eventually a clash of cymbals marks the start of the end section with sitar and tabla to the fore.

Dark Cloud is the longest track on the album at 31 minutes. It starts with a long section with Sitar and Digeridoo much to the fore. The lively middle section brings in the Sitar, tanbour and more…The end section returns to the sitar & didgeridoo from the start before a change in tempo heralds the entrance of tabla and more percussion to take us in an ever accelerating whirl to the end of the track.

Following an alternative mix of Whirling Desert we come to the last track on the album, Panchagni (The 5 fires). The sound of a rain-stick leads us into a contemplative mantra-like vocal with sitar and tabla providing an atmospheric backing. A change to mid-tempo heralds a beautiful sitar/tabla/drone section before the vocalist re-joins and the track moves towards the end with a dramatic increase in tempo.

It’s a long album (nearly two hours) but sufficiently full of musical invention to keep you wanting to hear more. Fans of “World Fusion” music will lap this up - It’s an impressive debut album and I one that I hope does really well for them. We can only hope we hear a lot more of Iasi Ensemble in future. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Everything We Live For By David Clavijo


Everything We Live For


David Clavijo

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is very passionate new release from multi-instrumentalist David Clavijo, whether on guitar or piano David’s professionalism and his flair for producing quality instrumental music stands strong. Here on his brand new single entitled Everything We Live For, he perhaps reminds us of how much gratitude we should have for the world we live on, but also remind us that life and its tides of existence, is something that is shared by us all.

The flow and sublime tempo with which the pianist performs here is literally unstoppable, but even so Clavijo still is able to mould colours, and textures into a tapestry of great beauty and fervour. This is a masterful presentation, filled full of intensity, passion and dedication.

The subtle musical narrative in the pieces inception leads us into a veritable whirlwind of a performance; this would certainly be one amazing composition to see played live, but there are also moments of pause, to ponder perhaps, to reflect, and then we are off once more to its dramatic, but charming conclusion.

Everything We Live For by David Clavijo is a power piece, it is a single of perhaps philosophical significance, one that may assist us in uniting as a species, as humanity, just to go simply into the day with the flow of life, this performance does that perfectly, and is indeed some of the most fluent solo piano I have heard this year with ease.  

Putting Pen to Paper by Richard Dillon


Putting Pen to Paper


Richard Dillon

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This new single by Richard Dillon has to be one of the most fascinating opuses I have ever heard from the artist, this is a true trip through music, one that has a flavoursome texture and rich motifs of musical colour, and called Putting Pen to Paper.

The steady and careful start was a delight and gave us not only a charming piano to bathe within, but also a symphonic backdrop of supreme quality to enjoy as well; in short, this entire single is a master class of build and progression.

Putting Pen to Paper is like watching an ancient quill manifesting a statement; the measures are long and protracted, but the progression is onward and always with such style and care, this is one of those singles that will find a home in your mind and never leave, leaving the listener with the melody in their senses for simply ages.

The sublime quality of this new single Putting Pen to Paper, should attract those who adore their music from not only the world of piano, but also perhaps the Neo Classical as well, there is pretty much something in this new single for everyone to enjoy, and as such I believe this could very well tickle the musical taste buds of many potential purchaser and listener, and therefore I see a soaring chart position come of its inevitable attention.

Mothership By Michael Regina




Michael Regina

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I remember looking back at the Exit Zero album of Michaels and I thought to myself, here is a musician who is going places, now with the release of his brand new album entitled Mothership I believe that I was right, this is an exciting 10 track release that literally takes you on a journey though the stars, so let’s voyage right now with Michael Regina, full ahead, make it so.

The opening piece is a great scene setter and is proudly the title track, and of course called Mothership, the growling of the engines as the ship starts to move is impressive, and the regal like synths give a texture to the soaring craft, one of complete wonderment, this is a stylish opening indeed.

The flow between tracks is compelling; we have an ever onward narrative from offerings like Exodus, a track that really reminds me of Medwyn Goodall’s Essence of Magic album. The full on keyboard driven tale continues with tracks like the gentler Mind's Eye, with its inventive percussion and soft synth pads and into moments of rhythmic passion and powerful forward movement with pieces like Transmissions, just listen to the bass in this amazing composition.

In the deeper realms of this album we can find glorious creations like Space Funk Maestro, the title speaks for itself, but there is a smoothness and fluency here that is very classy indeed, our penultimate offering is called Proxima Centauri a star just over 4 lights years from us on Earth, this red dwarf is portrayed beautifully by Regina, and we can almost feel our engines going faster through the music as we head inexorably towards its destination.

Finally Michael concludes his project with the illustrious arrangement of The Farthest Point, a subtle intelligent ending opus that rounds our mission up completely, with a wonderful balance and a mixture of percussion, keyboards and synths, all done with such class and panache.

I think it’s safe to say that on Mothership, Michael Regina has produced his best work this far, here is an album that would please so many, fans of the new age, electronic, and space genres are going to be elated with this new manifestation, and I feel that Michael has indeed crossed the musical Rubicon with this new conception, and as such a whole new era of opportunities will open up before him in the most abundant of ways, and we can be certain that a huge chart position is going to be on the cards at the very least.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Promises Unspoken By John Hamilton


Promises Unspoken


John Hamilton

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is a lush fluency about this new single from John Hamilton that you simply can’t fail to miss; it comes at a time when the artist is in a rich vein of form, and called Promises Unspoken. Hamilton’s ability to draw musical narratives and pictures within his stunning performances is a thing of great beauty.

Here on this brand new single we have a composition that illustrates a promise that needs not to be said, in the same way as the only form of true love is unconditional. Here there is an almost hidden secret bond that lies between the notes of this most charming and incredibly warm offering, ones that float in the land of trust, and touch the hem of loyalty.

Hamilton’s performance is so very amiable and delightfully elegant; this is one of those solo piano performances that just make you want to smile widely inside, it is a track bathed in the warm sunshine of a tender refrain.

A note to all piano fans, this is a single that you will find impossible to deny getting a copy of, and when you do, you will be much happier to have embraced its compassionate kindness and tranquil energies that lay within this outstanding composition.

Promises Broken By John Hamilton


Promises Broken


John Hamilton

Written by

Steve Sheppard


John Hamilton impressed me incredibly with his previous single entitled Prayer: Gratitude, and now his back with more new offerings the first of which I will cover in this review and called Promises Broken. Many of us have been in relationships that have ended in promises being broken, and it is incredibly sad when one reflects on the occurrence, how easily is it we get swept away with life and fail to be grateful for our moments of love respect.

John’s performance on the piano here is incredibly reflective and deeply mournful, and in a way is almost a voyage back in time to the start of the relationship, and perhaps even a soundtrack for the heart breaking events that will follow; the minor styled motifs of this performance is truly touching, and encapsulates the subject matter and the mood perfectly.

The more you hear the music and presentations of John Hamilton, the more you will embrace his colourful, yet respectful style, here is a man who clearly feels his music, and it is so refreshing to see and hear. Promises Broken by John Hamilton should be embraced utterly by piano fans across the globe, it may even be worthy of a segment in a movie scene too, it is that good.

Hush By ENILSounds





Written by

Steve Sheppard


This is one of the moments I delight in, a new artist to me personally and what a blessing it is as well, and in a new genre now lovingly called New Age Pop, a phrase that Chrissie and I came up with many months ago, and now it seems like the whole thing has caught on big time, so much so that songs like Hush by Danish songstress and musician extraordinaire Line Munch-Petersen AKA ENILSounds, are pushing the boundries of new age music like never before.

Hush is a lullaby for both children and adults, the texture of this song is sublime, and it reminded me of my time lying on the roof as a child watching the night sky and the limitless cosmos of stars above, those times seemed so warm and safe and all-encompassing back then.

Perhaps songs like Hush are what we as humanity we need right now, a reassurance in a motherly way that everything is going to be alright, and that we may sleep free from angst and stress. The artists soaring vocals in the midway and latter half of this new composition are literally transcendent, but are balanced perfectly with the more gentle refrains and tones at the start and the conclusion.

Simply put, this is a splendid new single, one that everyone should embrace and enjoy, I am sure there will be much more to come from ENILSounds but for now I have a feeling that a massive chart hit is going to be underway very soon for Hush, it is indeed a lullaby for all, and a panacea for the masses. 

Once More By Andrea Sertori


Once More


Andrea Sertori

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This brand new single by Andrea Sertori is something of a treat for the ears; this has to be the most sensitive and appealing offering from the artist thus far, his skills on the piano have grown over the years, and that amazing level of sensitivity is now coming to the fore, with a flash of colour, and a weave of perceptive artistry that can only be admired.

Once More is an uplifting composition that could be stating something arduous has to be undertaken, but just once more, and perhaps this new single is that extra boost to help one through. The presentation and performance by Sertori on the piano is nothing less than heart-warming, it’s akin to a musical hug.

Andrea Sertori has wooed us with many creations over the last few years, but here on Once More I think we have the apex of his current collection, this one will appeal to many listeners and streamers the globe over, its compassionate energy and its thoughtful performance, should make this a much sought after solo piano single, and as such I can see this composition finding favour with the listeners and in doing so, gaining a truly decent chart position with ease.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Spring Equinox: Piano Meditations By Richard Shulman


Spring Equinox: Piano Meditations


Richard Shulman

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This has to be one of the most unique and quite frankly exciting collections of quality music I have heard via the medium of the solo piano genre for ages, Spring Equinox: Piano Meditations by Richard Shulman, this album contains some of the most descriptive and textured pieces you would ever wish to find on an album of this elk, and to do so using the mechanism of the long form style on many creations contained within needs applauding.

The longest manifestation and the opening piece is called Light Increases; through my life I have listened to much music that describes times of day and moments of the clock, Shulman adds to those weighty musical occasions with a lush and quite evocative 13 minutes plus on this marvellous starting voyage, the slow and gentle approach highlights one of the most splendid segments in life, as each day the sun rises and gives birth to another day of possibilities.

Spring Melody is up next, this is a moment of harmonic bliss, but then again much could be said about the entire album. Again Shulman plays with intent, but with a calm approach, one that touches the very hem of nature itself as it becomes one again with the Earth, and slowly sprouts into a new epoch of colours and tones. This piece emphasises that aforementioned statement with one of the most creative solo piano performances ever.

Colors, takes us on another voyage of piano perfection with a track that is a step into a world of utter beauty and blissful ambience, one that reminds me of the works of the late but still great Harold Budd. The sense of peace within this track is quite palpable and this wonderfully fluent performance drifts on the winds of a musical tomorrow with all the anticipation of a tranquil and happy future.

This is one of those albums you simply want to never end, thankfully we have another all-enveloping composition up now called Planting Seeds, this has to be the most delicate presentation from the pianist, the slow and careful performance highlights the subject matter with a flourish, and the structures of major and minor are a wonder to behold.

Back to the longer styled tracks we now go with Awakening Life, this piece is the epitome of artistic foresight, at well over 7 minutes in duration Richard literally manifests that moment in spring that we all love to see, the bursting forth of new life upon our globe, this joyous performance is a simple but attractive delight.

One of the most valued aspects of moving on in life is the ability to understand what is meant when one comprehends the perception of actually Letting Go. This moving composition transcends the melody that can be found within the middle part of this arrangement, and takes us musically to a place of release and in such a crafted way, again the use of minor structures here are simply sublime.

We now move ever deeper into the weave of this great collection of fine solo piano works, and as we do so we come across a piece called Healing Spirit, the soothing ethos of this pleading creation is filled with a passion and serene touch of unconditional love, Shulman asks his piano to harmonise with his muse and the result is a curative and cathartic experience.

With a track just short of seven minutes we are gifted a ride into a realm of a tranquil garden of many delights, one of the most colourful images we will witness here is the uplifting piano performance that describes in music for us the Peace Flowers that dance gentle with an early spring breeze, this is a magical presentation form the artist and one we are most grateful for.

Amazingly we have arrived at the last but one gate in our woodland of musical spring delights, the track that ushers forth that moment is well named and called Blessing. This is a truism for me as I feel that it has indeed been a blessing to have been able to have listened to a track and an album of such great quality.

Our final parting gift from the artist is called Resting in the Light, the artist saves his most calming of musical reverie till last, and we can part on a soothing wave of a warm spring wind, and as a charming scent of a most pleasant summer is held potentially before us, this has to be one of the finest and most delicate ambient piano performances I have heard to conclude an album with for simply years.

Spring Equinox: Piano Meditations by Richard Shulman is an outstanding album in the times when most solo piano tracks are barely 2 minutes long, to be able to listen to an album of this magnitude and brilliance was utterly delightful. This is a release that would be suited for fans of many genres, from the ambient to new age and of course those who still seek creative artistic works of great style in the piano genre. I can see nothing but a successful outcome for Spring Equinox: Piano Meditations by Richard Shulman.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Lighthouse by Russ McRee




Russ McRee

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I used to take my acoustic guitar down to the coast and just play with what felt right at the time, boats from the harbour would drift out to sea, and it just felt so redolent of the subject matter to compose in this manner, I gazed at the artwork of Lighthouse by Russ McRee and got a similar feeling, and as such this quite light hearted reverie flowed into my senses, gracing me with a level of peaceful tranquillity that was much needed.

Russ McRee has a certain eloquence on his guitar that is so charming, and this composition is akin to spending a quiet walk on a spring day, who knows perhaps to the lighthouse, its soothing narrative is similar in texture to the incoming tide on a warm afternoon in Mid-April.

This is also one single to listen very carefully too as well, the light percussive snare helps the rhythm of the piece, and I am sure I could detect a delicate synth in the midway segment of the piece as well.

All in all this is one of those compositions that is so very calming to listen to, one could even describe this as a sequence of moments of a pastiche of life, its fluency is attractive and its artistic nuances crafted, if you like your music to set you a scene, then Lighthouse by Russ McRee would be a good place to start.

Spring's Redeeming Rain By Curtis Macdonald


Spring's Redeeming Rain


Curtis Macdonald

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The genre of New Age Pop continues to grow unabated with this brand new and sparklingly fresh single from the quite brilliant instrumentalist Curtis Macdonald. There has never been a bad song released by the artist, and this new offering continues that legacy with a superb new creation called Spring's Redeeming Rain.

The opening of this new manifestation is truly ambient, and gives the listener a moment to take in the literal growth of the piece before it breaks into its main theme. Macdonald is a sublime keyboardist, he has that beautiful ability to bring peace and calm with each composition created.

One with ease can imagine the new growth of the flowers of spring as they shake the old worn out raincoat of winter’s gloomy shadow off its shoulders; the composition itself is fluent and graceful, but also very vibrant in its output, this song would also go down well with people who have a passion for music from the chill out genre too.

Spring's Redeeming Rain by Curtis Macdonald is indeed an exciting new single; I believe this one has that air of positivity and freshness about its build and progression, which could take it into the higher realms of the charts and open the hearts of the ever discerning listener to its radiant beauty, this one is a song to be missed at all costs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Kismet By Joseph L Young




Joseph L Young

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Over the eons of time we have pondered what may become of us, what may happen in our own story, or are we in the hands of an uncontrolled energy of a fate or destiny, we may even ask what chance did I stand against kismet? This conundrum is now beautifully portrayed by one of the most stylish pieces of music to come my way this year from Joseph L Young, and indeed called Kismet.

Joseph L Young is a multi-instrumentalist of great style and talent, and here on his new single he brings to us a very mysterious composition that is a deeply addictive to listen to, and utterly compelling to reside within.

Kismet has a multiple directional flow, at times we could be floating in the east, at times in the forests of Native America, perhaps moments of bliss in a world of Celtic mythology, and at other times in the now empty caravansaries of the country from which the word came from in Turkey, all of those flavours are there.

The floating and rising textures of Young’s flute reminds me of UK flute performers Chris Conway and Nigel Shaw at times, with that very imploring style, but Joseph has a standard all of his own and it is of the most highest quality there is. As such this amazing new single just has to be an incredibly huge hit on the singles charts, and surely a must be purchase for any truly honest instrumental music fan or aficionado.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Angeline By Rick Sparks




Rick Sparks

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There are somethings in life that are given, the sun will rise and set, the Earth is a globe, and Rick Sparks will always produce sublime and perfect albums, and on Angeline that most beautiful of moments is once again here, with the arrival of Ricks latest release.

This in my view may yet be his most beautiful album ever, but I seem to say that about each album he gives to the world, but this is outstanding, the album is inspired by 3 women from Ricks early family all called Angeline, it is a release that also contains 3 quite breath taking covers of classic 60’s songs, but first we can bathe in the beauty of the opening title track, a soft caress of a piece that starts our journey gifting us a loving moment of tender keyboards, one with a soft symphonic gesture and a deliciously slow tempo, and called of course Angeline.

The album itself is 10 tracks long and to be honest every composition is a gem, one that struck a chord with me, if you pardon the truly un-intentional pun, was Elysian Fields, we live on an island called Cyprus that is Greek in culture and this quite joyous creation reflects this pantheistic mythology’s idealism, this could well be the soundtrack for the arrival in Elysian, where Homer once said “To the Elysian plain where life is easiest for men, no snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing west wind that they may give cooling to men.”.

There are also three absolute classics on this album and I think I have at least two of them in my collection, they are without doubt brilliant versions, carefully and tenderly performed and produced, the majesty of one of the best songs ever invented on Nights In White Satin originally released by the Moody Blues, which is performed so elegantly, then Rick touches heaven again with his delightful rendition of The Beatles Mother Nature's Son, and then to top it off, an outstanding presentation of The Beach Boys song The Warmth of the Sun, all three are given the magical Rick Sparks experience and production.

Ricks ability to paint such gorgeous palettes of musical beauty is an amazing thing; his talent for the manifestation of such artistic joys, can be found on pieces like the floating crystalline hovering carpet of musical charm called Moon Rain, or the reflective, and for me quite emotive piece, Sea of Serenity, with its ethereal presence and angelic like vocalisations are all there for you to enjoy, along with other such outstanding gems as well.

So is Angeline the artist’s best work thus far, I think it has to be, as it shows a continued growth and expansion into the field of new age ambient constructs like never before from the musician. Sparks is like the musical version of King Midas, except everything he creates on his trusty keyboards, turns into utter elegance and grace, and we surely cannot get enough of that.

Angeline by Rick Sparks is an album you miss at your own peril; this is a musical diamond just waiting to shine for the listener, and as such I believe that Rick has set his musical ship on a course for another huge success for this quite beautiful new release, and as such this is not only a recommended listen, but one that will be album that I predict will be a massive chart hit as well.

Monday, April 8, 2024

I Don't Mind By Billy Bower


I Don't Mind


Billy Bower

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Blues have played a significant part of my musical life, it does for many of us and sometimes we don’t even realise it, for me personally it was the tones of rock and blues from Status Quo, the slow hand of Eric Clapton, a visit to the crossroads with Robert Johnson, or perhaps the catchy melodies of the genius that is Robert Cray.

The album I am now focused on powers into existence with the smooth opener I Don't Mind, which in some ways does indeed reminded me of the aforementioned Cray, this moving starting position is a light pop styled blues song that gets us in the mood, and done so deliciously by the artist Billy Bower.

The next track makes me feel like I have gone back in time, and also addresses two of the previously names blues musicians in my opening paragraph. So let’s go down to the Crossroads for a version that in all honesty I regard very highly, in fact I have now listened to it three times and adore it, the pace and tempo are perfection, the guitar is simply sublime as indeed are the vocals, simply put Bower has totally knocked this version out of the park.

How can a lover of blues music not love this next incredibly smooth piece called Catman Blues, the soft organ and stylish percussion gave this classic offering soul, whilst Bower’s trusty guitar was a silky as Gary Moore on a Stormy Monday.

This album is nothing more that eclectic in its output, and an example of which is the Americana almost Midwestern feel of Love in 63; its arrangement reminds me in context to a mix of Meat Loafs Paradise by the Dashboard Light and Bryan Adams Summer of 69, whatever, this is a classy track of country rock and blues that is a totally fun track to revel within.

As we swim into the latter half of the album we come across a true gem called Old Love, this is a song I have carried with me since 1989, and from a certain Clapton album called Journeyman, I have always loved this terribly emotionally charged creation, and can I dare to say that perhaps Bower’s vocals on this version contain a certain higher level of sensitivity, please also note the piano on this song, it is superb in all its aspects, as is the magical guitar of the artist.

As we move deeper we find this next piece called Get Out Of My Life Louise, a real rhythm and blues song in the traditional sense, the swing aspect of this song and its eventual melody were masterful. Whilst on our penultimate offering entitled Take To Your Board, we have a windswept offering that excitedly takes you on an almost Garth Brooks styled moment, and made me reach for my own Blues harmonica.

We conclude this fantastic album with a beautiful guitar offering, one that starts in a similar way that Rush did on their Farwell to Kings track, the song is called Crane Dance, and it is a delightfully artistic way with which to leave the album.

I Don't Mind by Billy Bower is an album that I am so very pleased I came into contact with, it’s a very classy release and the performances contained within are of the highest order, and of course Bower would be an artist I would have loved to have seen if I had been on the other side of the world.

Blues is a truly traditional genre, the combination of rock and rhythm makes this album undeniable and totally compelling, and as such I have no problem recommending this release to any blues fans across the globe, this album is pure Blues and Rock heaven.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Surrender by Arielle Margalit




Arielle Margalit

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It is always a pleasure to come into contact with new music from musicians that are new to you, lately that’s been quite a few, but I feel that this debut artist has produced one of the most beautiful new age vocal styled singles I think I have heard this year, the song is called Surrender and manifested into this reality by Arielle Margalit.

The soft pastiche of instrumentation is delightful, and both Harp and guitar create a lush harmonic convergence of tone and timbre, the vocals from Margalit are sublime at creating a very easy atmospheric energy, and one can with that ease, listen to music akin to this all day long.

The slight Celtic motif within the construction of the song is perfectly placed and is another delight, whilst the melodic tempo and fluent instrumentation gifts us moments of absolute tranquillity and serenity.

This new single is a breath of fresh air that we really needed in this genre, and I truly feel this new song, the artist’s debut piece as well, could very well capture the listener’s hearts and ears in search for a sanctuary of meditative musical bliss, and in a world that desperately needs some much needed hope and calm, perhaps Surrender by Arielle Margalit is a great place to start.

In A Warm Place by Shere Fraser & Manuel Galan


In A Warm Place (flute & guitar version)


Shere Fraser & Manuel Galan

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Writing music for a duet is not always as easy as it seems, performing doubly so, but here on this brand new single by Shere Fraser & Manuel Galan called In A Warm Place (flute & guitar version) they have utterly nailed it. The beauty that lies in the tone and timbre of this new offering is simply gorgeous and heart-warming.

One has to say that the acoustic guitar of Manuel Galan is some of the finest I have heard and it manifests a perfect ambience, then when you combine it with the soft caress of the flute of Shere Fraser, magic is made.

I do so very much appreciate the lush textures of musical tapestry on this new release, it has the effect of a warm hug and that is always a good thing to have achieved in music.

We may also note that the melody is consistent and fluent and would perhaps make a good introduction to a television show; all the hallmarks are there for it to do so, regardless this is such a charming composition, it will be given much love by all who listen to it.

Galan and Fraser have indeed partnered before and you can tell that their music is symbiotically in harmony, and as such I have a feeling that we may yet see another chart hit for the duo with, In A Warm Place (flute & guitar version).

Butterfly Dreams By Richard Dillon


Butterfly Dreams


Richard Dillon

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The pristine nature of this track emphasises the title perfectly, it’s good to hear Richard back in full flow on the piano, and his crafted experience throughout the ages has enabled him to manifest a composition of such great beauty and charm.

Butterfly Dreams by Richard Dillon is an absorbing and amiable composition that gives the listener to a total treat of really sensitive piano, its hovering sense of delicacy is palpable, and the songs gossamer like structures gift us a moment of total freedom within the arrangement.

The Butterfly is a symbol of change, creativity, joy and colour, and Richards most pleasing of performances on piano depicts all of those attributes and more, on this most artistic of compositions.

The piano can be a tool of great textured arrangements, and it is attractive creations like this that highlight that aforementioned statement, this is simplistic beauty in just over 150 seconds, and as such I believe that the fans of this genre will lap it up, push it up the charts, and make Butterfly Dreams by Richard Dillon a hit across our beautiful globe.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

City of Text By Jorge Granda


City of Text


Jorge Granda

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I love listening to new artists to me, and with regard to this new single entitled City of Text released by Jorge Granda; this would be like a breath of fresh air that I needed to take me away from the intensity of the day. The electronic beat and electric guitar work within this single by the artist is sublime, and brought back memories of a certain movie from 1982.

There can be no doubt that Granda is an accomplished musician, his work on all instrumentation is simply superb and wonderfully crisp and fluent, the mix of EM and guitar also reminded me of the UK band Code Indigo at times as well, and of course that aforementioned movie was the mighty Blade Runner, the original starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, there can be only one!

The Vangelis influence is strong within this track, and I am pleased to say it is also featured on the artist’s latest album called The Producer.

I have a feeling that this new single from Granda will be given a lot of love and respect from listeners and purchasers and streamers of quality electronic based music, and so it should, the performance is splendid and most certainly chart worthy, indeed beautifully performed crafted and produced music like this doesn’t come around that often, so snap up a copy as quick as you possibly can, you will not regret it.