Krissy Matthews sounds like a man who’s always had an old soul. His vocals might never have shown the deceptive rasp of Johnny Lang, but musically, his 2015 album ‘Scenes From A Moving Window’ showcased musical influences that far pre-dated his twenty three years on the planet. More impressively, it was his fifth album… By the time of his sixth album’s birth, he still hadn’t reached the grand old age of thirty, but 2019’s ‘Monster In Me’ continues his tradition of delivering a pot pourri of blues, funk and occasional hard rock with all of the confidence of a man who’d been recording for decades.
On their debut EP ‘Blackbird’, The Riven showed a lot of promise. With a fusion of hard rock and blues, the EP presented five songs with an old fashioned spirit and some great vocals, but was rather let down by its recording budget. Sadly, tunes that deserved a huge crunch were all too often left feeling a little muddy.
A lot happened over the next couple of years. The band relocated from London to Sweden, played live shows, gained a recording deal with The Sign Records [home to Wheel In The Sky, Highrider and Grande Royale] and then decamped to Spain to record a full length album.
Founded in 2017, Brass Owl is an Ohio based power trio delivering a hefty dose of blues rock, often with a very southern twang. Their choice of sound often falls somewhere between Black Stone Cherry, something featuring Zakk Wylde and the more tuneful bits of Corrosion of Conformity (circa their John Custer produced millennial masterpiece ‘America’s Volume Dealer). Those influences alone should guarantee them a fan following. However, it’s what a band does with their influences that really counts and it’s probably fair to say that Brass Owl’s debut is a mixed bag.
Rainbreakers are a hard-working blues rock band from Shrewsbury. Over the past couple of years, they’ve released a couple of EPs and received a fair amount of press attention.
2018 has been good to the band so far, with a string of live shows helping to build their growing fan base. Last month, they released a new single… ‘Heavy Soul’ is a hugely melodic rock track with a solid underscore of blues and – assuming you’ve not been acquainted yet – a great introduction to their work.
Jess LaCoy is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her debut EP finds her in control of most of the musical aspects – she not only possesses a good voice, but also plays all guitar parts and handles writing and production duties respectively. In this sense, ‘Lioness’ seems to be a well-chosen name for her debut EP, since she’s someone who commands a strong presence.