joebonamassamerrillauditoriumGuitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter, Joe Bonamassa, will take the stage at the Stern Auditorium's Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on January 21 and 22, 2016.  The road to Carnegie Hall is 26 years in the making, a milestone that fulfills a lifelong dream for the bluesman who has released 16 studio albums and reached #1 on Billboards Blues Charts more times than any other blues artist.  He is widely known for tone, speed, and technical skill-- a musician's musician, and as an artist committed to keeping the blues alive for the next generation. 

Fans were swift to post commentary such as, "Good for The Soul!" and "Music Heaven on Planet Earth", beneath film footage uploaded last week to Youtube channel, 1AnitrasDance.  These videos are the first glimpse of five songs off Bonamassa's 17th studio recording, Blues of Desperation (pre-order now ahead of in-store/on-line release March 25), and new arrangements of favorite songs.  Seven dress rehearsal shows are planned in MD, VA, PA, VT, ME and NY.

The world received the shocking news today that iconic singer, musician and producer, David Bowie has died of cancer. Our grief cries around the globe. Bowie predicted his larger than life influence on music, art and culture, would be instantly summarized, defined - appreciated by the media. But in its midst, David Bowie has outsmarted us again. His final song release, which was on his birthday, just a few days before his death, is a prophetic and haunting reprise. At 69 years old, he lived his life exactly as he wanted to, with simultaneous presence and foresight. In his parting message to fans, Lazarus depicts the struggle with life and death, mocking the outflow of superficial media that will occur, and celebrating the release of spirit that his passing will embrace. It reflects who he is and always has been. The song has somber jazz undertones with ironic lyrics that mock the face of dying and superficial communication. The video tells the story. It mirrors his style of emotional freedom on every level. David Bowie has left us an elegant, inspiring echo.

Read, listen, watch :

Look up here, I'm in heaven I've got scars that can't be seen

I've got drama, can't be stolen

Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I'm in danger

I've got nothing left to lose

I'm so high it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cell phone down below

Ain't that just like me?

By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass

This way or no way  

You know, I'll be free


Just like that bluebird

Now ain't that just like me?

Oh I'll be free

Just like that bluebird

Oh I'll be free

Ain't that just like me?

Read more: David Bowie - Lazarus Lyrics | MetroLyrics


Rest in peace, David Bowie. Check ignition and may God's love be with you.

Intro Photo Credit: Heroes album cover shoot, 1977, photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita, Courtesy the David Bowie Archive

Songstress Sandi Thom to Release New Single, Earthquake

Sandi Thom press shot for EarthquakeTales of heartache are common storylines in music.  So, what happens when the lyrics that roll off a singer's tongue mirror those of their own, most private anguish?  An autobiographical recording is born.

In 2014, multi-platinum selling, singer-songwriter, Sandi Thom suffered a devastating life event when a long-term, romantic relationship dissolved without notice.  She recalls the impact of the empty house after he moved out and likened the pain to being hit by an earthquake, where the world shatters around you and everything you once knew and held dear suddenly is taken from you.  (I remember learning of the break up on social media and how saddened Thom's close-knit group of followers were on the day she posted the news.) 

Resilience, family, and friends saw Thom over the crisis.  It inspired her to write the new single, "Earthquake."  The power, pop-ballad is a mere glimpse of what's to come from the pop, folk, rock and blues artist, who plans to release her first self-produced album, Weapons Of Past Destruction in spring 2016, on Scottish label MITA. "Earthquake" is available for download beginning November 27, 2015, via iTunes.

"It's the catch 22 of being a songwriter.  You have to suffer through something real and raw to come out with your best a work.  In a strange way, the pain of the break up inspired me to write my best album ever, so in some ways I'm thankful for having gone through it all," says Thom.



Viewers will find more than one "Earthquake" video circulating around the internet.  After watching three, I discovered that each format impacted me differently.  First is the official music video (seen above), shot with a 360 degree GoPro.  Here, Thom presents as four characters trapped in one room.  Each personality displays a varied level of disillusionment.  It's an interesting concept that is perfect for MTV (that's if MTV still played cool videos). Earthquake artwork Second is the official lyric video which visualizes phrases swirling about a transparent, spinning globe.  Perhaps the intent is to connect the world to one universal burden?  Then, in watching Thom's live performance aired on Vintage TV, the magnitude of her grief struck me to the core.  Never before have I seen the singer more vulnerable than in this footage.  Not only does the strain of despair resonate in her angelic vibrato, the look in her eyes tell us something more.  

In my mind, gone are the days of "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In Her Hair)."  Thom has evolved into a grown woman singing about big girl stuff, where real pain is a tragic component in life, as evidenced by this song and similar tracks from her last few studio albums. 

"Earthquake" is strikingly honest and poignant, where, in the end, the only path to recovery is by letting go of the past and crossing over to a triumphant space. 

Please stay tuned for more on Sandi Thom in the coming months, as Bluebird Reviews staff plan to write a full album review and interview the songstress.   Related articles include: Flesh and Blood, Sandi Thom: Maine Debut, The Global Reach of Sandi Thom, and recently, The Tale of Two Sandi's: Interview with Sandi Thom.  For more information please visit the artist's website, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube

Yours in music,

DebFromMaine Hebert


Photos courtesy of Sandi Thom. Video courtesy of Sandi Thom and Vintage TV.  

2015. All Rights Reserved.

Ray Goren Releases Third EP-- Songs For You

ray goren with amp and guitarSinger and multi-instrumentalist, Ray Goren caught my attention with the release of LA Sessions and Save My Soul, in 2014.  The 5-track EPs showcased a budding artist's knack for composing snappy, pop-driven tunes and sentimental ballads.  Considered a musical prodigy, Goren began playing guitar and writing his own music before he turned seven.  He has performed with guitar and songwriting legends such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt.  On August 21, 2015, Goren brought his talents to the masses once more, with the release of Songs For You, his debut EP on Jay Vee Records, produced by Grammy Award winning artist Steve Jordan. 

While we are still reeling from Robert Plant's recent live tour and the mystical, Lullabye and The Ceaseless Roar, followed by the LP More Roar, our trusty rock historian, record collector, Paul Gorse, reminded us of Plant's impeccable embrace of all music genres over the decades. Plant's 1999 tribute to Skip Spence showed up in my box this week.  More Oar is a reminder that Plant's entanglement of his own musical (Moby) grape vine has never let go.

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